EPS is set to begin a new phase of its second-largest coal-fired plant upgrade in Serbia with the addition of a 350 MW unit costing nearly $1bn, its managing board said in a statement on Tuesday.

The country’s state owned power utility is attempting to address the fact that Serbia gets two thirds of its electricity from ageing coal-fired plants and the rest from hydro power and is urgently endeacouring to upgrade its energy infrastructure to meet rising demand.

Coal stacks
EPS is undertaking a $1.25bn upgrade of its Kostolac plant, using China Machinery and Engineering Corp. (CMEC), mainly financed by Export-Import Bank of China.

It includes expanding the nearby Drmno lignite mines to boost the mines’ capacity to 12 million tonnes a year from 9 million to feed the power plant, the EPS statement said.

Due to the out-dated technology two 350 MW units at Kostolac operate below capacity.

EPS plans to connect the new unit to the grid in 2019.

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