Montenegro: Air pollution by Pljevlja lignite power plant leads to respiratory damage for locals, show NGO monitoring results; includes company’s comments

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Electric Enterprise AD Niksic (EPCG) to respond to concerns raised in the report below and the following questions:

  • What steps is your company taking to avoid harm to human rights (such as impacts on health) from operation of its power stations?
  • Does your company have a plan to reduce or eliminate emissions from coal plants?

The response is provided.

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Company response
14 March 2017

Response by Montenegrin Electric Enterprise AD Niksic (EPCG)

Author: Montenegrin Electric Enterprise AD AD Niksic (EPCG)

EPCG owns one coal fired power plant with a single lignite 218 MW Unit in Pljevlja and seven hydro power plants (approx. 650 MW of installed capacity). Company has already submitted the request to obtain IPPC permit (in accordance with the Law on Integrated Pollution Prevention Control) because of our intention to reconstruct the existing Unit I until 2021, with relevant investments in environmental refurbishment. Decision has already been inserted in EPCG industrial plan with related important CAPEX; all the activities will be carried out to reach all parameters prescribed by EC regarding environmental protection, health, safety and social impact respects...[T]he landfill will be totally revamped in line with the European standard and the whole exhausted area rehabilitated, in line with a step-by-step plan to recover all area after its utilization...[O]ur Company has a plan to reduce emissions from coal plant and is strongly committed to improve quality of life of resident people with huge investments on the site, thus ensuring avoidance of harm to humans and environment, also granting job and welfare in the area of our Nation and not offering economical alternatives.

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14 March 2017

Under heavy skies: dire results from first independent pollution monitoring in Montenegro

Author: CEE Bankwatch Network

...We travelled to Pljevlja to install our environmental dust monitor...Now we are able to report on just how bad the pollution is in this little town in northern Montenegro, home to the country’s only lignite power plant...The EU limit on PM 2.5 was exceeded on 29 of the 35 days observed, or 83 per cent of the time...The high PM2.5 levels are particularly worrying, because these particles are lighter and so penetrate deeper into the lungs, causing greater respiratory damage in long-term.

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