June 23, 2024
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Serbia: Government signed MoU with Chinese companies on renewable energy investment

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Minister of Mining and Energy, Dubravka Đedović Handanović, Signs Memorandum on Renewable Energy Investments with Shanghai Fengling and Zijin Koper Bor Companies

After signing the document, Đedović Handanović stated that Serbia has made significant strides in the past year in green energy transition, primarily by enhancing the legislative framework and successfully conducting initial auctions in the field of renewable energy sources (RES).

She emphasized that this recognition has been acknowledged by the Energy Community, designating Serbia as a leader in implementing reforms among its members.

“With the memorandum signed today, we are embarking on the implementation of the single largest project in the field of RES in Serbia, led by Chinese companies Shanghai Fengling (Shanghai Fengling Renewables Co. Ltd.) and Zijin Koper (Serbia Zijin Copper doo Bor), with co-ownership by Serbia,” the minister stated.

She explained that this project entails the construction of a facility near Bor with a total capacity of two gigawatts (GW), comprising 1,500 megawatts (MW) from wind farms and 500 MW from solar power plants. Additionally, it involves the establishment of a factory for green hydrogen production with an annual capacity of approximately 30,000 tons.

Shanghai Fengling and the generated energy will be utilized for Zijin’s production needs, as it is one of the largest exporters in Serbia, continuously increasing its production, especially following the completion of the smelter reconstruction in Bor last year,” emphasized Đedović Handanović.

She added that in addition to direct environmental protection investments in mining production, this project will enable a significant portion of the electrical energy required by Zijin to be produced sustainably, without using fossil fuels and with no adverse environmental impact.

“This energy will be produced here in Serbia, in the Bor District, harnessing our solar and wind energy potentials,” she noted.

According to Đedović Handanović, the construction is set to commence in the first quarter of the next year, with the first phase of 700 MW expected to be completed by mid-2026.

“By the end of 2028, the entire project, encompassing all 2,000 MW and achieving the production capacity of green hydrogen at 30,000 tons annually, is expected to be completed,” announced the minister.

According to her, this investment will facilitate the creation of 300 to 500 new jobs, primarily related to the renewable energy sector, with a high level of income.

“With this project, Serbia becomes one of the European hubs in the production of equipment for renewable energy projects, green hydrogen, and equipment for renewable energy projects. Additionally, it will contribute to realising our energy security and independence goals, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” concluded the minister.

Sustainable Mining Achievable with Adherence to Environmental Standards

Sustainable mining in Serbia is possible if all ecological mining standards are adhered to, stated Đedović Handanović.

She mentioned that international mining standards are improved every year to ensure that the exploitation and use of ores and mineral resources are sustainable.

“When new technologies or other methods that use different resources will become available is uncertain at this moment. It is essential for us to be aware and clear about what resources we have and for what purpose we can use them, as well as to use them sustainably,” said the minister.

Đedović Handanović emphasized that the use of the resources at our disposal should benefit everyone, especially our citizens, and the entire value chain should be integrated into production in our country, as demonstrated with copper where the opening of the smelter last year led to the final product in raw material exploitation.

On the question of whether lithium extraction will be one of the first issues addressed by the new government, she stated that she cannot comment on it and that the new government will decide on priorities and their order.

She added that lithium remains a vital resource at our disposal, and the extent, capacity, and manner in which it should be used are matters that will certainly be discussed in the future.

“As the President and Prime Minister of Serbia have stated, this will be on the agenda of the next government, not only for lithium but also for other strategic resources that Serbia, thankfully, possesses. These resources can truly boost economic growth, enhance production and technology, and utilize sustainable energy sources,” said the minister.

She also mentioned that lithium, along with other critical mineral resources like nickel, is strategically recognized both at the EU level and globally, and various parts of the world are actively considering and working on their utilization.


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