Kosova e Re is a 500MW lignite-fired power plant planned to be built in Prishtina, Kosovo. Estimated to cost €1.3bn ($1.5bn), it represents the biggest energy infrastructure investment in the country’s history.
ContourGlobal, an independent power producer based in the US, will undertake the project on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis and transfer the ownership of the plant to the Government of Kosovo after 20 years of operation.
To be designed and constructed in accordance with the European Union’s Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), Kosova e Re will be a super-critical thermal power plant with a net efficiency of more than 40%. It will replace the ageing Kosova A thermal power plant (TPP), which has been operational since 1962.
Construction works on the Kosova e Re power project are expected to be started in 2019, while commissioning is expected in 2023.
The new plant is expected to generate enough electricity to meet approximately half of Kosovo’s total energy demand, over its 40 years of estimated operational life. It will also consume 39% lesser lignite, while emitting 95% lesser dust, 85% lesser NOx and 38% lesser CO2 compared to the existing Kosova A plant.
The project is estimated to create up to 10,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs during the construction phase.
Kosova e Re power plant details
The Kosova e Re power plant will be built on a site located adjacent to the existing Kosova B TPP at Obiliq, Prishtina district.
The site is accessible by road via the Durrës-Kukës highway, which runs 264km from Durrës to Pristina.
Infrastructure facilities for the project include a thermal power plant housing a supercritical boiler and a steam turbine generator unit, ash/gypsum slurry handling pipelines, waste landfills, water discharge treatment facility, and air quality control system, along with associated support infrastructure components.
Kosova e Re will also operate as a cogeneration plant in winter months, providing up to 200MW of thermal energy for the Prishtina central heating system.
Water needed for project will be supplied from the Ibër-Lepenc canal.
The Kosova e Re power plant is estimated to consume up to four million tonnes (Mt) of lignite a year, which will be supplied from the nearby Sibovc South coal mine, under a long-term lignite supply agreement (LSA) with Kosovo Energy Corporation (KEK) Mining.
Estimated at 14 billion tonnes, Kosovo has the fifth biggest lignite reserves in the world and the third biggest in Europe, after Germany and Poland.
The electricity generated by the Kosova e Re power plant will be evacuated to the national grid through a 400kV transmission line via the Kosova B substation.
New Kosovo Energy Corporation (NKEC), a public company established by the Government of Kosovo, will purchase the entire electricity output of the plant, under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA).
The Kosova e Re project is being financed through 30% equity and 70% debt. ContourGlobal provides €300m ($340m) of equity investment for project and will arrange the remaining amount through debt financing from international financial institutions.
The Government of Kosovo and ContourGlobal jointly announced a consortium of GE companies as the preferred bidder for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) and long-term maintenance (LTM) contract for the Kosova e Re power project in May 2019.
Kosova e Re project background
Kosovo’s two existing thermal power plants, Kosova A and Kosova B, were built in 1963 and 1983, respectively.
Despite a combined installed capacity of 1,478MW, the two plants have a current operational capacity of 915MW using 7.2 million tonnes (Mt) of coal a year.
Kosova A and B produce approximately 1,500GWh and 3,750GWh respectively on an average, together accounting for 75% of the country’s electricity demand.
A new power plant with an installed capacity up to 2,100MW to replace the ageing plant was proposed in 2006. Its development plan was revised multiple times, before finalizing the capacity at 500MW in 2015, on the basis of an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) study conducted in 2014.
ContourGlobal was selected as the preferred bidder to build and operate the Kosova e Re power plant in 2015.
Kosova A comprises five units, out of which two are no longer operational. The remaining three units will be decommissioned after completion of the new Kosova e Re plant. Kosova B comprises two units of 339MW capacity each, which are scheduled for shutdown in 2040.