Power sector worst hit as Serbia counts the cost of conflict

As the World Bank and United Nations start implementing reconstruction programmes after the recent conflict in Former Yugoslavia, Serbian economic sources have said that the electricity sector is the worst affected of any part of the region`s infrastructure.

Full damage assessments are currently being worked on in Kosovo and Serbia, but leading Serbian economists have already estimated the total damage to Yugoslavia as a result of the NATO campaign to be as much as $4bn. They believe the cost of damage to the electricity sector to be $270m. Three Serbian thermal plants – Nikola Tesla, Kostolac and Kolubara – as well as the Derdap hydropower plant, have been destroyed. Around 60 per cent of the region`s 380 kV and 220 kV transformers have also been severely damaged along with seven HT lines.

Damage assessments are being carried out for various individual sectors, led by organizations relevant to those sectors. UK consultants Mott MacDonald, working under the auspices of the British Trade International`s Power Sector Working Group, is leading a five-strong team of power specialists to Kosovo to assist with the reconstruction of the country`s power generation and transmission system.

Mott MacDonald`s main priority will be to make Kosovo`s two coal fired power plants operational and also to identify emergency repairs to the transmission system.