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Chinese company began work on $715 million expansion of Serbian coal mine

Staff Writer |
A Chinese company began work on a $715 million expansion of a Serbian coal mine and a new power plant, part of a wave of investment in new coal-fired plants in the Balkans.

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China Machinery and Engineering Corp's project to expand Kostolac, Serbia's second biggest coal mine, and build a new 350 megawatt (MW) unit at a nearby power plant is the first new electricity capacity built in Serbia in nearly 30 years.

"Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) is opening a new chapter," Milorad Grcic, chief executive of Serbian power utility EPS, said in a statement marking the start of construction.

The investment, majority financed by China's Export Import Bank, secured the future of the mine and power plant for half a century, he said.

Western Balkan countries, including Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia, plan to invest billions of euros in building new coal-fired plants to meet rising demand for electricity as old plants are being phased out.

A total of 2,600 MW of new coal generating capacity is planned in the region in the next decade.

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