EU helps tackle air pollution in Kosovo with €76.4 million

air pollution_

(Ria Puskas, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


As part of his first visit to Kosovo, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell will launch today a major EU-financed project to improve the environmental performance of the “Kosovo B” thermal power plant, Kosovo’s largest electricity generator. The project will significantly lower emissions, contribute to reliable and clean energy supply and improve the health and well-being of the population. More specifically, this project will reduce air pollution in Kosovo, lowering the emission of harmful dust by 35 times and nitrogen oxides by 4 times, bringing it in line with EU standards.

High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell commented: “Air pollution is one of the most acute environmental problems affecting the Western Balkans, including Kosovo. With this investment, the EU is providing a concrete contribution to improve the environment in Kosovo and the region, as well as to improve the health and well-being of people. The European Green Deal is a deal for all of us in Europe, Kosovo included. With this project, we want to take a first step in this direction. We hope and expect that our determination will be matched by that of Kosovo’s policy makers.”

€76.4 million in EU funding will be provided for filters on the Kosovo B power plant, through the Commission’s Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA). The EU has been supporting and will continue, as part of the Green Deal ambition, to support a number of actions to improve the environment, to increase energy efficiency measures and to make greater use of clean energy and renewables.

Background

Kosovo has inherited a large number of environmental problems, accumulated over decades of uncontrolled use of natural and mineral resources, industrial production coupled with very high levels of pollution. The overall environmental situation in Kosovo has worsened over the past years, with increased constructions, traffic and industrial pollution including the pollution from power plants and household heating during the winter.

The thermal power plant Kosovo B is the largest electricity generator in Kosovo with a total installed capacity of 678 MWe.

An EU­-financed feasibility study concluded that in both generation units of Kosovo B, the dust and NOx emissions are far exceeding the Industrial Emission Directive (IED) limit values.

The project launched today aims at reducing the environmental impact of Kosovo B by reducing dust emissions from 300-700 mg/Nm³ down to 20 mg/Nm³ (35 times less) and NOx emissions from 700-850 mg/Nm³ down to 200 mg/Nm³ (4 times less), in line with the Directive on Large Combustion Plants (2001/80/EC) and Industrial Emission Directive (2010/75/EU).

Following a tender procedure, the EU Office in Kosovo signed on 28 November 2019 a works contract with a consortium of European companies. The works should be completed within three years.

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