Kostolac power plant in east threatened by water

The Mlava River at Kostolac broke the second ring of flood protection between the settlements of Bradarac and Drmno in eastern Serbia.

Source: Tanjug

The water is now "threatening to bring the Kostolac B thermal power plant into danger," Tanjug's journalist reported from the scene.

Citizens immediately began building a third embankment ring some 100 meters from the second ring to prevent the flood from reaching the power plant and the Drmno coal seams.

Some time around 04:00 CET the Mlava River broke the embankment at several locations at Kostolac and the flashing torrent spread toward the Drmno seam and the Kostolac B thermal power plant.

The first ring was broken some ten kilometres from the Drmno seam and the Kostolac plant, and members of the Serbian Army, employees and volunteers were immediately hired and they built the second flood defence ring with the help of heavy machinery.

Evacuation of machines from the Drmno seam was carried out at the same time and the machines were moved from the ground floor to higher floors.

Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antić visited the embankment early on Sunday and said that in case the second ring of flood defense is broken, similar embankments would be built at two more locations.

Antić underscored that the Kostolac power plant is currently the most important electric power plant which produces 20 per cent of electricity in Serbia and it has to be protected at all costs.

In the course of the night, the population from Maruljevac settlement was evacuated and a part of the Bradarac settlement was evacuated on Sunday as well because the local citizens are endangered by the rising flood, the Serbian Interior Ministry released and added that 150 citizens from the workers' settlement Drmno near Kostolac have also been evacuated.

MP Veroljub Arsić of the Serb Progressive Party (SNS) told Tanjug that these are small settlements which have been preventively evacuated in case it turns out that the settlements need to be flooded so as to save the power plant.

The road between Drmno and Bradarac was dug up in the rescue of the Kostolac power plant on Sunday and a canal was built to redirect the Mlava River torrents, which have reached the third ring of embankments, away from the Kostolac B plant and coal seams.

Director of the Kostolac power plant Dragan Jovanović expressed the hope that the widespread action would help prevent water from flooding the Drmno seam and the Kostolac power plant, and underscored that the plant would otherwise have to be switched off.

The Nikola Tesla power plant in Obrenovac has already been shut down as the embankment was broken on a 100-meter stretch and thanks to imports, no power cuts were necessary. Electricity supply has been cut off only for flood-hit households and the homes receiving electricity from currently submerged transformers.

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