Road Paved with Records and Feats
The celebration in Ušće near Obrenovac, beautiful and balanced, was an opportunity for us to remember all those generations of builders, engineers and enthusiasts who embedded their years of service and their careers in this bright history book. In the past years, there have been great investments in reconstruction and modernization of plants, as well as reaching European environmental standards. There are strategic reasons and project conditions to seriously consider construction of ”Block 3”

By: Zoran Plavšić
Photographs: Archive of TENT and ”National Review”

With to blocks, with 620 megawatts of designed power each, Thermal Power Plant ”Nikola Tesla B” is the biggest power facility in Serbia, and together with ”Nikola Tesla A” it is the biggest in the Balčkans. The first of these two blocks, commissioned on November 3, 1983, is now living its second life. Its first life was marked by feats of employees, and setting of records far beyond the borders of the former country. After restoration, the power of this block was increased to 650 megawatts, and it has retained the status of the biggest and most advanced in Serbian power industry. In its construction, an original solution of ”Rafak” was implemented and an additional economizer was mounted.
– Last year we finished the first phase of reconstruction of Block ”B 1”. We increased its power by 30 megawatts. More importantly, we used the waste heat from flue gases, increased the efficiency level of the Block and, without additional coal consumption, achieved 10 so-called ”green megawatts” – says Goran Lukić, Director of Thermal Power Plant ”Nikola Tesla”. – The reconstruction included works on boiler room, useful life of equipment was extended by additional 200,000 hours, reliability and availability of the Block were increased, influence on environmental pollution was significantly decreased. By reconstructing the electrical filters, emissions of particulates was reduced below the allowed limit of 50 milligrams per cubic meter. On top of all this, a completely new system of ash disposal was built, and in this way we solved one of the biggest environmental problems: scattering of ashes from the landfill of TENT B.


It all began in the 1970’s, which now seems so long ago. Company ”Energoprojekt” from Belgrade was hired to search for the best location, and after numerous expert analyses, it was decided to build the power plant in Ušće. Financial resources were approved in June 1977, and the procurement of the most advanced equipment was contracted. The construction began in the spring of 1978, and five and a half years later the first kilowatts were generated. Already then, at least it is written in the plans, extension was envisaged by another two blocks: not only the stack, which is higher than the tower on Avala, can take another two flues, but also the location for future blocks was determined and all necessary infrastructure designed.
It was built by both local and foreign companies. Local ones: ”Energoprojekt” from Belgrade, ”Termoelektro”, ”Ivan Milutinović”, ”Minel montaža”, ”Goša” from Smederevska Palanka... There are also French ”Alstom”, Swiss ”Braun Boveri”, Polish ”Rafako”...
At that time there were few power plants like this in the world. There were especially no power plants like this that were using lower quality coal. Therefore, the then director Vladislav Močnik was saying, engineers had to find original technical solutions, and each one of them was thought through carefully. One of such solutions includes changes in the coal preparation system, and these were also patented.
When everything was finished, on November 3, 1983, the power plant was put into operation. Everything worked in an instant, synchronization with the network was immediately established, which is considered a special success. In addition to Vladislav Močnik, engineers Eli Delon and Vladimir Grigorjev also gave special contribution to this project, leading the teams of employees in the construction and commissioning of this plant.
There is also the memory of Radoslav Mihajlović who, as a young expert, began his career exactly in this power plant:
– That year there was a big crisis in electric power supply and Serbia was facing the threat of darkness. All eyes were fixed on us. From ordinary people to top government officials. We were lucky that the block started from the first go, which is generally not the case in systems so large, and in this way we prevented Serbia from being left in the dark.
This is how it used to be. And today, 450 million Euros have been invested in restoration of the facilities in Thermal Power Plant ”Nikola Tesla”, annual production of electric power has been increased by 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours, and coal consumption has been decreased by 400,000 tons per year. When, let us say this as well, a new 400 megawatt block were to be built, it would be necessary to invest almost a billion Euros. Twice as much as what was invested in revitalization, and the result would be almost the same.


Since its commissioning, Thermal Power Plants ”Nikola Tesla” produced 223,745 gigawatt-hours of electric power. Only ”Blok 1”, by October 2013, delivered 116 billion kilowatt-hours of electric power. The highest annual production was achieved in 2011: 11,058 gigawatt-hours. In 1990, ”Blok 1”, the oldest one in this power plant, delivered 4,827 gigawatt-hours of electric power. On January 29, 2013, ”Blok 1” delivered 15,140 megawatt-hours of electric power to the electric power network of Serbia. Daily record in both blocks of this power plant was broken on October 22, 2008: 29,370 megawatt-hours.
At the average, ”Blok B1” produces electric power worth 194 million Euros per year, and both blocks produce 373 million Euros.


The Only
On the world list of top ten manufacturers of electric power, based on the criterion of operation in the network during one year, ”Blok 1” of Thermal Power Plant ”Nikola Tesla B” is the only thermal block among nuclear power plants. It has hade 8,323 hours, i.e. 347 days of production.


TENT engineers who successfully increased energy efficiency of ”Block 1” and so produced the first ”green kilowatts” are recipients of annual award of Belgrade Chamber of Commerce for the best achievements and innovations.
– The four of us are formal recipients of the award, but it is actually a recognition for the entire team, who has always been a driving force in the electric power industry of Serbia – said Miloš Milić, while expressing his gratitude for the award.


For the Third Block
– We have knowledge, the need for new power capacities realistically exists, and we hope that implementation of the project of ”Blok 3”, envisaged by the former visionary builders, will soon begin – said Goran Lukić, director of Thermal Power Plant ”Nikola Tesla B” at the recent celebration of the 30th anniversary.


In the past decade, TENT has invested more than 80 million Euros in environmental protection. Ecological modernization of the for treatment of all wastewater is planned, as well as construction of the plant for desulphurization of flue gases. The second phase of revitalization of the blocks will include reconstruction of the coal burner and this will solve the problem of increased emission of nitrogen compounds.


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