Two reports by the Serbian Center for Investigative Journalism take stock of the problems surrounding the planned Kostolac B3 lignite power plant, including a recent court decision that cancelled the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment.


by Sven Haertig-Tokarz, cross-posted from the Bankwatch blog


Bankwatch has reported time and again about controversies in the Serbian coal sector. While the Kolubara lignite mine has been the most visible in the past, Chinese-backed plans for a new unit at the Kostolac lignite power plant have increasingly come under scrutiny for a possible breach of state-aid rules and undemocratic decision-making over a loan agreement with the China Export-Import Bank among others.

The most recent confirmation of the government’s preference for murky waters is a court decision from June nullifying the Environmental Impact Assessment for failing to inform and consult neighbouring Romania about the potential transboundary impacts of the Kostolac B3 lignite unit – an obligation that is part of the international Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention).

In the end of July, the Serbian Center for Investigative Journalism (CINS) took a close look at the Kostolac B3 lignite power plant. The two resulting articles offer an overview of the range of issues surrounding the project. See them here:

Kostolac: Chinese loan, Serb rule-breaking – July 21
Serbia promisses clean, while investing into dirty energy – July 22


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Image: The existing two units at the Kostolac lignite power plant. Plans for a Chinese-backed third unit are subject to many controversies. (Image (c) by Serbian Center for Investigative Journalism CINS)

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