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Coal mines insufficient for REK Bitola

31. January 2008. | 12:08

Source: Skopje Dnevnik

Pelagonija plain lies on 1,5 billion tonnes of coal, which are sufficient to cover country's needs and avoid energy crisis

Pelagonija plain lies on 1,5 billion tonnes of coal, which are sufficient to cover country's needs and avoid energy crisisUnfortunately, the project for potential coal deposits stayed on paper for a long time, energy experts claimed.

Up to last year, no money were invested for this purpose. The issue was opened after the situation in Suvodol mine, which supplies coal for the main energy system in Macedonia-REK Bitola, became critical.

ELEM confirmed that REK Bitola is in stage of exploiting the last coal reserves from the surface site in Suvodol, which may cover needs for only four years.

Long-year exploitation without project documentation have made the mine a risky place for workers.

Now the coal is being excavated also from Suvodol lake despite the real danger for loosening of the dam.

- We excavate 2.000 tonnes coal on daily basis from the slippy land. Works are only in one shift. We are taking care about the threat from the dam, but awareness exists that we cannot leave Macedonia without electricity, REK Bitola director Zoran Konjanovski said.

Cracks, which emerged in the mine, may provoke new landfalls, whereas intensive working is underway in order for the new surface site Brod-Gneotino to be put into operation.

- Questions are asked why we need to import coal, when we have huge reserves. It is the same if we say that we have a lot of water, but not hydro-power plants. Now we are going to open Brod-Gneotino, but to implement the annual dynamics of two millions tonnes we have to wait up to 2011, Konjanovski said.

Experts fear that Brod-Gneotino may be overburdened.

- We must plan the exploitation. Annual planned dynamics envisaged excavation of two million tonnes, or 5.000 tonnes daily. It will be enough for operation of only one bloc, since all three are using 20.000 tonnes, experts pointed out.

Skopje Mining Institute said that according to the feasibility study, which was outlined four year ago, up to three million tonnes of coal may be excavated per year from the site near Zivojno village.

However, it needs huge investment, whereas it is not an option for now.

Coal exploitation from Suvodol mine continues

Transport system in Suvodol mine became operational again on Monday afternoon, whereas regular coal supplies to REK Bitola continued, Dnevnik reads.

- The regular delivery of coal to the thermal plant and the landfill continued, ELEM spokesman Mirce Kotevski said.

The failure happened on Saturday when over 500.000 tonnes of coal pulled down at a south side of Suvodol mine.The landslide caused deformation of the main transport axis in length of 150-200 metres, but none of workers were injured.

Director Zoran Konjanovski blamed the former management for the defect.


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