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Stanari lignite power plant, Bosnia and Herzegovina


The Stanari power plant under construction in early 2014.

EFT’s 300 MW Stanari power plant, constructed by China's Dongfang, and financed by the China Development Bank, is located near Doboj in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Republika Srpska part of the country. Originally it was planned to be a 420 MW plant but this was considered to be on the edge of economic viability and the capacity was reduced to 300 MW.

The plant officially started commercial operations in September 2016, but was already out of date in terms of environmental standards. Its environmental permit stipulated compliance only with the older EU Large Combustion Plants Directive, not with the current Industrial Emissions Directive.

During the project's development a number of problems have been raised, including the following:

No environmental impact assessment for the changed project

The environmental impact assessment process was carried out only for the original, larger version of the project and the Republika Srpska authorities did not require a new process for the new, smaller plant.

While it may appear that a smaller plant has less environmental impact and therefore does not need a new study, in fact there were also several other changes which would change the plant's environmental impact:

  • Originally the project was planned to have a net thermal efficiency of 43 percent but the new version would have a net thermal efficiency of 34.1 per cent.
  • It was changed from supercritical pulverised lignite technology to subcritical Circulating Fluidised Bed Combustion.
  • The cooling technology has also been changed from a wet to a dry cooling system. This is one of the main reasons for the loss of thermal efficiency.

 


Al Jazeera's Dragan Stanimirović reports, the Stanari project is causing mixed reactions from local residents and concern to environmental groups about health impacts and CO2 emissions. (Not available in English)

 

Environmental permit not compliant with pollution standards

Since 2006, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been a member of the Energy Community, which requires all members to commit themselves to develop a common regulatory framework for energy markets and abide by certain EU legislation.

This meant that while developing the Stanari project, Bosnia and Herzegovina was obliged to adhere to the EU Large Combustion Plants Directive (LCPD), which regulates emissions limit values from new and existing combustion plants. Originally, the Republika Srpska authorities did not include the emissions limit values from the LCPD in Stanari’s environmental permit, but rather much laxer standards from domestic legislation with emissions 2-3 times higher.

In January 2014 an official complaint was submitted to the Energy Community secretariat by the Center for Environment from Banja Luka and in July 2015 it was announced that the Stanari environmental permit would be updated following changes in the Republika Srpska legislation.

Nevertheless, this still puts Stanari several years behind EU legislation, and it is highly likely that it will have to undergo additional investments to meet stricter emissions standards before the end of its lifetime.

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