CDM projects in Serbia

ProjectsSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 6/2009

Serbia offers very good investment opportunities in the area of environmental Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. According to the Italian Environment Ministry, it has the potential to generate carbon credits amounting to the equivalent of 20-25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, 10 times as much as Albania or Montenegro.
The CDM projects that have already been identified in terms of waste management involve equipping a landfill site for biogas recovery as well as trapping methane at stock farms and at a distillery. In terms of developing renewable energy, there are projects to build mini-hydroelectric stations, biomass plants and wind farms. As for energy efficiency, investments are needed at a fertilizer factory and to build a centralized heating system and a cogeneration plant as well as improvements in street lighting. Finally, carbon credits can be obtained through forestry projects and the use of biomass from a nature reserve or else from the creation of green belts to act as wind breaks for prime agricultural land. The article present few of the CDM projects in Serbia.

Cogeneration plants in Cacak industrial zone

Project description
Industrial zone, located in Cacak Municipality, Serbia is one of the biggest energy consumers in the region. In the last years the natural-gas distributive network has been introduced in to this zone. Since, the price of the natural gas is higher comparing to the heavy fuel oil, most of the factories in this zone, due to the lack of finance, use crude oil instead. The heat produced in this industrial complex is used for two purposes, for industrial processes and for the district heating of the neighboring parts of the town. One old coal powered CHP plant with installed capacity of 8 MWel, already exists in this zone and has not been operational for ten years. Almost all of these factories are in the process of privatization.
The project idea foresees the installation of the cogeneration plant with installed capacity 3 MWe, calculated to cover the electricity demand for three factories, as the biggest electricity consumers. The natural gas-based turbine cogeneration system would generate about 18 GWh of electricity, eliminating the electricity purchases from the grid for the three factories. There is possibility, from the technical point of view, to install also the CHP unit with much higher capacity in order to export extra electricity to the national grid.

The GHG emission reductions were calculated on the basis of:
• Higher fuel use efficiency by introduction of the cogeneration plant where the fuel with less carbon content (natural gas) is burnt to generate the same amount of steam and electricity.
• Electricity co-generated by burning natural gas offsets electricity supplied from the grid and reduces transmission and distribution losses which in Serbia are almost the biggest in the Europe.
Since, the current Annual steam production in these factories is around 18,45 t/h of steam and in the winter period up to 23 t/h, it is obvious that there is a quite large energy demand. Also, annual electricity Demand is around 12.800 MWh. In order to ensure the mentioned demands in sustainable manner it is necessary to initiate the measures, leading to energy efficiency improvement and energy savings.

Applied methodology
The project activity is small-scale energy efficiency project with the total saving less than 60 GWhel (equivalent to maximal saving of 180 GWhth) in the fuel input to the generation unit. The estimation of the emission reduction could be calculated by using the simplified methodology for small scale projects "Supply side energy efficiency improvements - generation".
In the case of the implementation of the CHP unit with 3 MWel, the project activity has a capacity to avoid GHG emissions in the value of app. 100.000 tones CO2 for the period 2008 - 2018.
The project will contribute to sustainable development of the local area by mitigating negative effects related to high energy consumption and GHG emissions, through implementation of the cogeneration plant in the industrial zone. The estimated investment cost is approximately 4.000.000 Euro. Local partners of the project are Factory Sladara, Factory FRA, Factory " Bozo Tomic", and Municipality of Cacak.

HIP-Azotara in Pancevo, Serbia
The project consists implementation of actions for energy efficiency improvement in HIP-Azotara, the leading producer of mineral fertilizers and nitric compounds of the Balkan region. The main products of the company are Nitric Acid, Urea, Ammonium Nitrate (AN) and Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN), while the energy carriers consumed by the plant are essentially electric power and natural gas. The proposed project is composed of interventions in different process units, with the final aim is to recover wasted heat from different production phases. The project will include the following actions:
• Optimization of absorption column operations at the Nitric Acid Production Plant: this action will include the installation of a water-glycol closed circuit to recover refrigeration units from heating low temperature liquid ammonia thus replacing the 3.5 barg steam previously used; the recovered refrigeration units are used to cool absorption column make-up water and absorption column internal coils through the water-glycol closed circuit;
• Wasted steam recovery and condensation at all AN Production Plants: this action will include the recovery of the whole steam currently vented to the atmosphere and the utilization of its thermal energy to improve the thermal efficiency of the above Plants and to purify the relevant Steam Condensate in order to make it suitable to be fed to all Nitric Acid Plants (N°1,2 and 3) as make-up process water. This will provide for both the reduction of water consumption and the reduction of waste.
• Heat recovery at the Nitric Acid Production Unit No. 3 compressor stage: this action will include the installation of two specific heat exchangers between the two air compressors stages (first and second). The temperature of air entering the second stage is controlled by producing steam and by warming the water closed circuit used to vaporize ammonia;
• Wasted heat recovery from the tail gases of the Nitric Acid Unit: this action will include the installation of two additional heat exchangers to lower the temperature of gases vented to the stack and super-heat steam and to pre-heat boiler feed water.
The intervention will have a significant positive impact in the reduction of the air emissions. The GHG emission reductions is approx. 300.000 tons CO2 for the period 2008-2018. The estimated investment cost is app. 8.500.000 Euro.

AWMS methane recovery project - PP "POBEDA", Backa Topola

The objective of the project is to collect and combust methane from the manure treatment system of the swine hoggery by transforming existing lagoon into covered anaerobic digester. That would lead to emission reduction through transformation of generated methane into carbon dioxide through the process of combustion of digested biogas. This project is representing a improvement of common practice of Animal Waste Management System (AWMS) in the Republic of Serbia.
The farm has a yearly production of 30.000 pigs with average weight of more than 50 kg. PP "Pobeda" is a private joint venture company which majors in swine culture for the meat factory in nearby town. Also it is supplemented by crop growing, processing and selling various agricultural products. The farm has a modern hoggery, combined with swine breeding, feed processing, complex fertilizer producing and meat processing. But with out relevant CDM project experience.
The baseline treatment system consists of barns internal sewage system and of two existing open lagoons. In the first lagoon, manure is partly digested at the ambient temperature by naturally occurring microorganisms, while the solid phase settles on the bottom of that lagoon. Anaerobic digestion process that takes place inside the lagoon leads to the direct release of CH4, N2O and CO2 into the atmosphere. After the first lagoon the manure overflow to the second lagoon where the process of GHG emission continues.
At the present time, no limit has been set for the emission of biogas from hoggery by law or statute in Republic of Serbia. Because of the economic barrier, the project of making use of hoggery biogas is difficult to be carried on without the support from CDM. In that case, methane will continue to emit into atmosphere from Pobedas hoggery.
It is estimated that the project has a capacity to avoid emission of more than 84.000 tCO2eq for the period 2008 - 2018.

The following non-GHG related social and environmental benefits have been identified as a result of the project:
• Improvement of manure management in the area
• Organic fertilizer with complete nutrient elements is produced during the swine waste treatment. This organic fertilizer can accelerate sustainable agriculture by improve the soil particle structure and fertility.
• It can be served as a technical and demonstrate model for the national hoggeries in a large or middle scale.
• The economic benefit from the CER can partly compensate the companys payout.
Estimated investment cost is around 260.000 Euro (including lagoon cost, gas handling cost, piping cost, flaring cost, engineering cost and CDM cost).

JKP Grejanje district heating in Pancevo: combined heat and power (CHP) plant

JKP Grejanje District Heating (DH) is providing heat to the urban area of Pancevo. The DH system is supplied by two main centralized energy generation units (Heat Plant Kotez , 53 MWt; Heat Plant Sodara 25 MWt) plus several small and domestic boilers. The equipment and the whole system of steam generation and energy distribution are outdated and need rehabilitation.
The DH shows a great potential for energy efficiency improvement and JKP Grejanje is planning interventions aimed at reorganizing the whole district heating system. The main interventions are: installation of a new heat plant (Heat Plant Centar, 75 MWt) and dismantling of small distributed heat generation plants with low efficiency; revamping and expansion of the heat distribution net; improvement of automation/control and heat contabilisation. The Company is also interested in developing a combined production of electrical and thermal power at the existing Kotez Heat Plant. This intervention mainly consists in the modification of the existing Kotez Heat Plant in a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant, with electrical power of cc 24 MWe and a thermal power production of cc 25 MWt, covering approximately 70% of the total yearly heat demand of the area. The envisaged solution provides for the installation of three gas motors with auxiliaries, while the existing KOTEZ boilers will be used as integration/ reserve heat sources.

Novi Sad - Dump Site LFG Recovery and Flaring

The objective of the project is improvement of the LFG management system on a dump site serving the City of Novi Sad, in order to find environmentally friendly solution to reduce current LFG release into the atmosphere. The project would be composed of LFG collection and flaring, thus converting its methane content into CO2 and simultaneously reducing its GHG effect.
The CDM project baseline scenario could be the "continuation with the current situation". The project baseline emissions will be the amount of methane that would be emitted from the dump site to the atmosphere during the crediting period, in case there is no CDM project activity.
The dump site is situated at the north-west side of the settlement and has been operational since 1960s. Over 1,2 Mt of waste has been disposed at the site so far. The dump site receives all collected MSW of the city of Novi Sad and the surrounding settlements, with a population of approximately 300.000 inhabitants. The amount of MSW carried into the dump site is estimated at 300 t/day. A separation line for secondary raw materials such as plastic, glass, metal and paper was established at the site in 2002, in order to decrease the amount of waste for final disposal and to extend the lifetime of the dump site. The separation residue with high organic content is balled and afterwards disposed at the landfill. Before the separation line was constructed, all collected waste was directly spread out over the landfill, but after the construction, only 30% of total collected waste is directly spread.
The operator of the dump site, the Public Utility Company "JP Cistoca", due to investment and technological barriers, is not able to collect and flare LFG.
The legislation requiring compulsory recovery, collection and flaring of the LFG from dump /landfill sites does not exist, neither in the regulatory framework of the Municipality Novi Sad nor in the Republic of Serbia. The only requirement is to vent the LFG in order to avoid the risk of explosion.
It is estimated that the project has the capacity to reduce GHG emissions only through flaring of LFG of approx. 251.000 tCO2eq for the period 2008 - 2018.
Common benefit of the project would be a contribution to the mitigation of global warming through reduction of methane emissions to the atmosphere.
Beside regular activities regarding the reduction of GHG, the project itself recognizes non-GHG related environmental benefits identified at the local level, such as:
• Dump site odour prevention;
• Dump site fire prevention;
• Effect in terms of enhancing human resources through introducing new technology;
• Employment creation effect through project realisation.
Estimated investment cost is around 700.000 Euro (including suction cost, collection cost, flaring cost, engineering cost and CDM cost).

SHPP Vrgudinac, SHPP Crveni Breg, SHPP Mala Bela Palanka

The main objective of the proposed project activity is to generate green electricity using hydroelectric resources, and to sell the generated output to the Serbian grid on the basis of power purchase agreement (PPA). Therefore, by the project implementation, the GHG emissions reduction will be generated, too. This will result in avoiding electricity generation at fossil fuel-fired power plants, i.e. TPPs using mainly lignite.
The development of the small scale plants on the renewable energy sources is not a common practice in Serbia, yet. The current electricity price is relatively low, but the Ministry of Mining and Energy is working on the establishing the incentive mechanism for the electricity generated from the renewable energies. It is foreseen the "feed-in tariff" system. The clear framework and the prices for the electricity from the renewable energy sources will be established by the middle of this year.
In order to decrease, in general relatively high transaction costs, for the development of the project as a CDM one, the three run-off river small hydro power plants Vrgudinac, Crveni breg and Mala Bela Palanka, on the same river flow Nisava, are bundled and considered as one project activity. All three sites are located in the Municipality of Bela Palanka, in the South-Eastern part of Serbia. The municipality covers 308 km2 and has 33.000 inhabitants.
According to the pre-feasibility study /6/ done by the Serbian engineering company, the basic assessed results will be presented in the following text.
On the basis of the data from the local hydro-methodological stations on the river Nisava, the average discharge of 24,4 m3/s was taken for the preliminary estimation of the power potential. The catchments area of the river Nisava is approx. 3.220 km2.

SHPP Vrgudinac has the capacity of 1.350 kW and could generate app. 5.403 MWh of green electricity. It has been foreseen the construction of a 5 m diversion weir, the installation of two turbine units of 675 kW, two synchronous generators and one common transformer. It is necessary to reconstruct the existing village road, around 1 km long. The plant will be connected to the 35 kV power line/6/.

SHPP Crveni Breg, as the second one in the cascade line, has the capacity of 2.588 kW and could generate app. 11.300 MWh of green electricity. The project activity will supply the electricity generated to the state electricity grid via sub-station and overhead transmission line, through a 4.000 kVA transformer and two power lines of 35 kV (inlet-outlet). Two turbine generating units of 1.386 kW, two synchronous generators and one common transformer are foreseen. Access to the road is provided. The plant will be completely automatic.

SHPP Mala Bela Palanka has the highest capacity of 4.057 kW and will generate app. 17.770 MWh. Two turbine generating units of 2.086 kW, two synchronous generators and one common transformer are foreseen. It will be necessary to reconstruct about 2 km of the existing local road and about 500 m of the road leading to the powerhouse. The unit is completely automatic. The plant will be connected to the network through a 6.300 kVA transformer and two power lines of 35 kV (inlet-outlet).

Applied methodology
Since the total installed capacity of the SHPPs on the river Nisava is less than 15 MW, the approved simplified methodology "Renewable electricity generation for a grid"- ASM I.D should be applied for this small scale bundled CDM project.
Emission reductions for the entire project are expected to be 300.000 tCO2eq for the period 2008-2018, achieved by displacing coal generation from the national grid. However, in order to increase precision and to establish the baseline conservatively, the emission rate for the electricity grid should be recalculated through the project development.

The implementation of this project activity will lead to:
   • Generation and supply to the national grid approx. 34,5 GWh of electricity per year, on an average, in a renewable, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner;
    • Improvement the power availability and quality in the local area. The positive aspect of the project implementation is the local companies involvement and creation of job opportunities, as well as an uniform electricity consumption for the area of the Municipality;
   • Improvement the road condition, in the length of approx.1,5 km, connecting the project sites and nearby villages to the existing roads;
  • Assistance the Republic of Serbia in stimulating and accelerating the commercialization of renewable energy technologies and markets, at the grid level and under private ownership, as well as its operation, in order to reduce GHG emissions, while responding at the same time to the increasing energy demand and energy diversification imperatives necessary for sustainable economic growth. Broadened private experience in the development, operation and maintenance of hydropower electricity generation is a significant option for expanding and diversifying Serbian energy resources.
The estimated investment costs for all three projects are approx. 12 million EUR, which need to be considered again by the development of the feasibility study, involving more detailed assessment.


The main project objective is the reduction of current methane emission from the dump site "Jovanovac". Following the project concept, LFG have to be recovered, collected and combusted on the dump site. This will involve investments in LFG recovery, collection and flaring technology. In that manner, through combustion of methane gas content in recovered and collected LFG, significant GHG emission reduction will be achieved.
The CDM project baseline scenario could be the "continuation with the current situation". The project baseline emissions will be the amount of methane that would be emitted from the dump site to the atmosphere during the crediting period, in case there is no CDM project.
This dump site "Jovanovac" is located in the vicinity of the City of Kragujevac. It has been operational since 1963. The dump site receives all collected MSW of the Kragujevac Municipality, serving a population of approximately 129.000 inhabitants. The amount of MSW carried into the landfill is estimated at 96 t/day. Until today, over 2 million tons of MSW have been disposed at the dump site (see the picture below).
Waste dumping is practically the only way of MSW management without any previous treatment in terms of environmental protection. The above disposal site has no system to protect groundwater against leaching. Currently, vertical wells for LFG venting cover around 20% of the dump site area showing rather large percentage of CH4 in LFG; however, in the absence of a gas collection and flaring system, LFG is currently released to the atmosphere (see the map with LFG survey results). It is estimated that the project has the capacity to reduce methane emissions of 110.000 tCO2eq for the period 2008-2018.


The purpose of the project is to capture and process biogas from three farms, owned by one of the biggest pig, diary cattle, food and agricultural crops producer in Serbia. This company owns several farms with the average annual manure generation up to 500.000 m3 liquid and 35.000 t solid, as well as a huge amount of biomass residues from agricultural land with the area of 14.500 ha. The expected result from this project activity will be a significant reduction in the volume of methane (CH4) emissions compared to those emissions that would otherwise occur in the scenario with traditional manure treatment system consisting of anaerobic lagoons. Due to the anaerobic processes that take place inside the anaerobic lagoons, direct release of CH4, N2O and CO2 into the atmosphere occurs. In order to avoid emissions of the mentioned GHG gases, it is planned to apply the anaerobic digester technology on site. This scenario would be applied on the farms "Zalivno polje", "Kis-Imre" and "Novo Selo" specialized in the production of dairy cattle (1.500 per year) and pigs (around 100.000).
The farm "Novo Selo", the largest of those farms, has a daily inventory of app. 69.000 pigs. The manure generated on this farm, represent a significant source of biogas, which may be used within a CHP to cover energy demands of the farm. On the basis of available manure amounts, installed capacity of the CHP may be estimated at 1MWel, producing 8000 GWh of electricity per year.
Generated amount of manure would be mixed in the digester with biomass residues from Vegetable Processing Industry "Flora" and from adjacent agricultural land. Total amount of biomass to be fermented is estimated at 20.000 t/year, which is sufficient for production of around 2000 m3/day of biogas. If used in CHP unit, this amount of biogas would be able to cover total energy demand of the farm.
The total amount of agricultural residue from 14.500 ha also represents significant potential for GHG emission reduction. It is estimated that the project has a capacity to avoid emissions 600.000 tCO2eq for the period 2008-2018 only from flaring of generated biogas, while the construction of CHP at the farm "Novo Selo" would provide additional reduction of 70.000 tCO2eq for the same period.

Text source: Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the Kyoto Protocols flexible mechanisms, so called because they allow companies in industrialised countries that have emission-reduction targets to take part in projects that aim to cut greenhouse-gas pollution in emerging economies, where there are no fixed emission goals. The CDM has a dual aim: on the one hand, it allows developing countries to get equipped with cleaner technologies; on the other, it drives emission-saving projects to the places where they are most economical, thus lowering the overall cost of meeting Kyoto Protocol commitments. The emissions that are avoided thanks to these projects are recognised in the form of carbon credits - known as Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) - and these can be used towards the greenhouse-gas commitments that countries and companies are legally bound to meet.

How does it work?
A typical CDM project takes place in the following way:
• a private company or a state body goes to a developing country to carry out a project that aims to abate the production of greenhouse gases
• the amount of emissions saved is calculated as the difference between actual emissions and the quantity that would have been produced without the project being undertaken, and this amount is recognised with CERs
• the CERs can be kept by the company or country in question for use towards Kyoto Protocol emissions limits or sold on international markets.
For example, the landfill site at Elbasan in Albania releases large amounts of methane into the atmosphere as a result of the decomposition of organic waste. A project to improve this situation would involve capturing the gas and using it in an electricity-generation plant. The methane emissions avoided as a consequence would be automatically turned into carbon credits in the form of tradable CERs. Credits generated can be accumulated and used to meet greenhouse-gas reduction commitments  undertaken by Italy in the first compliance period (2008-2012).