The 1.3GW Nikola Tesla B thermal power plant is located approximately 50km west of Belgrade in Serbia. Image courtesy of Elektroprivreda Srbije.
The Nikola Tesla B thermal power plant came online in 1983. Image courtesy of Elektroprivreda Srbije.
The Nikola Tesla B thermal power plant is set for the installation of FGD systems in its units. Image courtesy of Elektroprivreda Srbije.

The Nikola Tesla B thermal power plant (TPP) is a part of Serbia’s biggest power project Nikola Tesla (TENT) and serves approximately one-fifth of the country’s electricity needs.

Operated by Public Enterprise Electric Power Industry of Serbia (Elektroprivreda Srbije), the TENT B power plant consists of two coal-fired units namely, B1 and B2 for a total generating capacity of 1,340MW.

The units were commissioned in November 1983 and November 1985 respectively, while the plant’s overall efficiency was improved through the revitalization of the B1 unit in 2012.

While the construction of a flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) plant for the TENT A facility was started in February 2019, the contract for the installation of two FGD units to improve the environmental performance of the TENT B power plant was awarded in October 2020.

Scheduled to commence operations in 2024, the construction of the new FGD units at the Nikola Tesla B coal-fired facility will be financed by Elektroprivreda Srbije.

The new units will reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide and particulates by 96%, and facilitate in achieving a level of 130mg/Nm³ required to comply with the European Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) and the new BREF (best available techniques reference) requirements issued by the European Union (EU).

Location and site details

The Nikola Tesla B coal-fired power plant is located approximately 50km west of Belgrade and 17km upstream of TENT A, on the right bank of Sava River.

The plant site is spread over 156 acres, near the Usce and Skela villages, at an altitude of 77.7m.

TPP Nikola Tesla B plant make-up

The Nikola Tesla B thermal power plant comprises two coal-fired units of 670MW capacity each.

The single axle steam turbine used at each unit of the Nikola Tesla B plant consists of a single flow high pressure (HP) section and double flow intermediate pressure (IP) and low pressure (LP) sections.

A hydrogen-cooled, three-phase synchronic generator with a power output of 727.5MVA is directly connected to the turbine shaft.

The TENT B plant utilises tower-type coal-fired boilers with the combustion chambers measuring 20mx20m in the quadratic section with a volume of 23,000m3. The boiler’s firebox is supported by eight mills.

The plant also uses auxiliary boilers that use oil as backup fuel, while the water for cooling the turbine is obtained from the Sava River. Two vertical coolant pumps of capacity 37,500m3 per hour are installed at the site.

Coal supply

The TENT B power plant uses lignite sourced from the Kolubara mine as the primary fuel which is transported by trains on the railway.

Each unit consumes up to 21,000 tonnes (t) of coal per day, and the plant has the storage facility to store up to 650,000t of coal, which is enough for the operation of both the units for 12 days.

Transmission details

The Nikola Tesla B plant has three-phase, oil-immersed 60/35/35MVA transformer manufactured by Minel Belgrade and three-phase 725MVA transformers manufactured by EM France and RADEKONCAR Zagreb.

The power plant is supported by a 220kV switchyard near the plant site and a 400kV switchyard at Mladost.

Contactors involved for the TENT B FGD system

A consortium led by Mitsubishi Power, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, was contracted to supply two sets of FGD systems for the Nikola Tesla B thermal power plant in October 2020. The consortium also includes three local companies Energotehnika Juzna Backa, Gosa Montaza, and EX ING B&P Construction.

Mitsubishi Power’s Kure Works will perform the design and coordination of the new FGD systems in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.

Mitsubishi Power was also contracted for two FGD units for the TENT A power plant in September 2017.

Previous contractors

The TENT B project partners included Alstom France, Energoprojekt Poland, Energoprojekt Belgrade, and the Department of Design ZJZ Belgrade.

Elektrim Poland, Transelektro Hungary, and Jugoelektro Belgrade served as suppliers and importers for the TENT B project.

RAD Belgrade Ivan Milutinovic, Partisan Put, Planum, and Belgrade Road Company were appointed as the prime contractors of the project.

Engineering contractors for the project included EVT Germany and Progress Invest, Belgrade.

The phase one upgrade programme was undertaken by Siemens in 2012. The generator breaker for the project was provided by ABB, and the by-pass valves by CCI Sulzer.

TENT project background

Commissioned in March 1970, the TENT project consists of four thermal power plants namely, Nikola Tesla A, Nikola Tesla B, Kolubara, and Morava.

The project was initially called the Thermal Power Plant Obrenovac before it was renamed in 1975 after the great scientist of Serbian origin, Nikola Tesla.

The installed capacities of Nikola Tesla A, Kolubara, and Morava are 1,650.5MW, 271MW, and 125MW, respectively.