Unremembered water
blind force halted
the operation of “Kolubara”
g issue 10 g may 2014 g special issue
KOLUBARA newsletter
KOLUBARA newsletter
Unremembered water blind force halted
“Kolubara” – no casualties
A Mining giant, providing the energy product for the generation of 52 % of
electricity in Serbia, has stopped coal production due to unremembered floods
having affected the major part of the country. Catastrophic rain threatened on
May 14, 2014 and hit the Mining basin Kolubara very hard. Due to extremely
hard situation, 24-hour attendance was in force in all organizational units of
open pit mines, attempting to prevent enormous quantities of water entering
the mines. But, due to the outflow of all the surrounding rivers, the Kolubara,
the Peštan and the Turija river and formidable amount of water moving
violently to pits where the coal excavation takes place, in the night between 14
and 15 of May, the production in all four OPMs, as well as the transport of coal
towards the thermal power plant “Nikola Tesla” halted. Tamnava open pit mines
– “Veliki Crljeni” and “Tamnava West Field” have been affected most heavily,
especially because the investment overhaul was in progress. The Kolubara river
ran over the dams and subsequently flooded the mines. At the same time, the
water covered Ibarska main road, so that the access to Tamnava mines was
not possible. The greatest damage has been inflicted to Tamnava West Field
where the cutting –edge equipment has been recently installed and that was
the backbone of the production of MB “Kolubara”. The OPMs, the Field B and
Field D have been partly flooded. The same situation is with the Operational
Unit “Prerada” (Processing Plant), where due to smaller quantities of water, the
recovery could already start on May 17th. According to the statement of Mr.
Milorad Grčić, Director of MB Kolubara, the most important thing is that there
are no casualties and that the timely decision has been made, right before the
flooding wave, to stop the production and to evacuate the workers from the
mines. As far as the mining equipment is concerned, so far we can reliably state
that nine excavators have been completely flooded, and that material loss is
According to the latest information, the embankment on the Kolubara
river was lifted on May 19th, thus stopping further flowing of water into the
Tamnava mines, and the river has been brought back to the its previous course.
In the Field D, the pumping out of water is ongoing, and the rehabilitation of
the ECS system is in progress, too. Third phase of Dry screening plant of the
Branch “Prerada” has been put back into operation, where the coal preparation
is done for thermal power plants.
The lignite production in the Fields B and D is expected to start again by the
end of May.
By normalization of the situation, it is expected to activate the transport of
coal towards the TPP NT, in the amount of 45,000 tons of coal a day, which is a
half of the average daily production.
KOLUBARA newsletter
The coal and overburden systems in four open pit mines of the Mining basin
“Kolubara” up to May 14th , were running regularly, give or take smaller or bigger
problems. Since the beginning of the year, around 11,9 million tons of lignite and
about 27,4 million cubic meters of overburden have been excavated. The plan for coal
excavation has been exceeded by cca 4% and for overburden by 12%. The transport of
coal towards the thermal power plants was in accordance with the plan. The quantities
of coal on the stockpiles of TPPNT were somewhat smaller than balanced quantities,
while the stockpiles quantities in TPP Kostolac and TPP Morava significantly exceeded
the planned quantities. The investment repairs of the coal systems in the Tamnava
mines (Tamnava West field and Veliki Crljeni Field), started on May 11th, were carried
out according to the plan. In the Field D, on the Third ECS system, the recovery of the
bucket wheel boom was being executed on the “Excavator 10” (Glodar 10).
Enormous precipitation since Tuesday, May 13th, made the operation very hard to
all, especially to the system excavating overburden. The catastrophe occurred on the
following day, May 14, when the water coming from all over the place, from the sky,
from the land, blocked the operation of all units in the MB Kolubara. Up to the halt
of operation, the mines produced on that day 7,231 tons of lignite and 32,246 cubic
meters of overburden. To thermal power plants, 6,754 tons of coal was dispatched.
From the Field D, the last train for TPP Kostolac was sent at 12,40h and for TPP NT at
Then, the water did what it wanted. The first mine to stop was Field B. The coal
system was shut down at 10,30h, and up to 14,00h, all three overburden system were
halted. During the day, operation was stopped at all systems in the mines of Kolubara.
The ECS coal system in the Field D was shut down last, at 22,30h. The operational units
of “Prerada” were shut down during the third shift, half an hour after midnight.
Tragic display of the energy giant broke the next morning. The water was ruthlessly
rushing, flooding the surrounding riverbeds, pushing through the dams, changing
courses and sinking the machines in the mines and structures in the facilities. The
greatest open pit mine “Tamnava West Field”, producing a half of the total coal
production in “Kolubara”, turned into a huge lake, and in the Field “Veliki Crljeni” the
parts of giant machines, excavators and hopper cars just peeked out from the water.
Both mines in Tamnava, which produced over 60 % of Kolubara lignite in the first
four months, will not be put in operation for a long time. On Thursday, due to floods,
the TPP Veliki Crljeni A was also put out of operation. The next day, fire caught the
transformers. Floods caused major damages, and the estimates will tell what their
scope is, but the most important thing is that there are no casualties. Everything will,
sooner or later, be rehabilitated and constructed. As long as there are miners, there will
be coal from Kolubara.
KOLUBARA newsletter
Floods stopped the operation
of all operational units
Minister of Energy and Mining visited Junkovac
KOLUBARA newsletter
KOLUBARA newsletter
The newly appointed Minister of Mining and Energy, Aleksandar Antić,
together with the Mayor of Belgrade Siniša Mali and the Director of
MB “Kolubara” Milorad Grčić visited the area of Lazarevac municipality
on Thursday, May 15th, before the largest flooding wave hit Kolubara
Open Pit Mines. They visited the village Junkovac where about twenty
inhabitants were (later on successfully evacuated) trapped in their
households that were flooded by the river Turija. The Minister Antić said
that saving of human lives was a priority and that the Government of
Serbia, together with the relevant services does everything necessary to
put the situation under control as soon as possible.
KOLUBARA newsletter
There, where until recently were Tamnava OPMs, is now a large lake
on over 15 km2, and its depth is at some places over 50 m. The water
completely covered the two OPMs of the Mine “Kolubara” – “TamnavaWest Field” and the OPM “Veliki Crljeni”.
The river Kolubara broke through the embankment that protected the
OPMs from the water entering, on May 15th in the morning, and for only
two days, the most up to date mine in Serbia, turned into the artificial
The witnesses say that for only couple of hours, the river made its way
in the length of about 100 and at least 50 m wide. The place where there
was meadow once, turned into a ravine deep more than 30 m.
The roar of water that was entering into the OPM was heard five km
around. According to the rough estimations, the volume of water that is at
the moment located there were there was the mine once amounts over 200
million m3. There are nine large excavators under the water and a large
number of very expensive mining machinery. The water from the river
continued to flood until Sunday morning when the employees of “Auxiliary
machinery” succeeded to retain it. In order to finally stop the river, 10,000
m3 of earth and stone was built into the flood defense embankment. The
German Company “TXW” set two pumping systems that would pump
the water out of the OPM “Veliki Crljeni” first, and then from the area of
“Tamnava-West Field” where there is much more water.
The director of “Kolubara”, Milorad Grčić estimates that for the
pumping out the water from “Veliki Crljeni” a month will be needed, and
after that the overhaul of the flooded equipment would be possible.
He said that the production of this OPM could start in the next four to
five months. The revival of production in the “West Field” will take much
more time, as Mr.Grčić estimates, at least one year and a half.
KOLUBARA newsletter
The river Kolubara turned
the open pit mine into a lake
Tamnava Open Pits Mines Flooded
KOLUBARA newsletter
KOLUBARA newsletter
The River Kolubara has taken complete water confluence from the area
greater than two thousand quadrat meters, because of unprecedented
atmospheric precipitations during the last week, and in the night between
May 14th and 15th broke through protective embankment at several places
in the area of Open Pit Mines of Tamnava West Field and “Veliki Crljeni”.
Tamnava Open Pits Mines from which two thirds of the total lignite
production in MB “Kolubara” is exploited, are totally over flooded in a few
hours. The total water bulk captured in these exploitation fields is estimated
at about 200 million cubic meters (ca. 50 million in the OPM “Veliki Crljeni”
and about 150 cubic meter of water in “Tamnava West Field”).
The majority of OPM operational units and coal systems, which were in
the course of investment repairs during the accident, were flooded, except of
the overburden system and excavator “2000” in “Tamnava West” and four
operational units in the youngest OPM of MB “Kolubara”.
The employees and the machinery
of the Field “D“ are safe
KOLUBARA newsletter
KOLUBARA newsletter
The OPM Field “suffered minor flood consequences if compared with
the other four OPMs of “Kolubara”. Nobody got injured, and all the
equipment is saved. According to the words of Milan Mišković, the head of
the OPM Field “D”, the voluminous precipitation caused huge problems in
the OPM. In order to eliminate the effects of over flooding of the enormous
amount of water, the most of the employees, during the five days worked
without stopping. The excavators were pulled out to the safe location
and the water flow was redirected to flow from the mine. ECL and ECS
operational units are partly under water, the central part of the conveyor
belt in the length of 350 to 400 m is flooded, but the belt itself is not
After the precipitations stopped, the activities on restarting the system
began. Because of pumping the enormous amounts of water out, small
landslides arose and the conveyor was misaligned. The problem with the
sludge that was over the conveyor belts appeared. Access roads were
repaired and approach of all vehicles to all facilities was enabled. It was
planned to start the systems within the OPM one by one in accordance
with the priority list, and with respect to the OHSAS and facilities safety
principles. In accordance with the expectations, the OPM should start
operating by the end of May.
Recovering and helping hand
KOLUBARA newsletter
KOLUBARA newsletter
During the flood wave which hit Serbia, “Auxiliary Machinery”, an
operational unit of MB “Kolubara” did everything in its power to provide
help for all affected settlements in the municipality of Lazarevac, but
in other municipalities as well. It was immediately responded to all
calls for help whether they were related to saving people or performing
necessary and emergency works to repair or prevent water penetration.
“Auxiliary Machinery” helped other municipalities as well, so two trucks
for mass transport and two dumper trucks were sent to the municipality
of Obrenovac and they were put at the disposal of the Crisis Committee
of the municipality, as well as nine trucks for the transport of stone
necessary for the damage recovery in the area of the TPP “Nikola Tesla”.
Huge material damage
KOLUBARA newsletter
KOLUBARA newsletter
In horrifically bad weather which hit Mining Basin Kolubara on 14th
May 2014, the facilities for processing, enrichment and transportation
of coal in Vreoci were ruined. The damage in branch “Prerada” caused
by the flood was huge. Upon the overflowing of the river of Peštan and
braking of dam, the height of water in some of “Kolubara” facilities was
even 2 meters. The employees were fighting the big flood until Thursday,
15th May, at 1:30 PM, when the power was shut down in the entire
facility of “Prerada“. Until then, everything that could be done to prevent
the water from entering the facilities had been done. After that, it was
important that not a single worker faces the additional risks or deadly
peril, that they get rescued from the flooded premises and that the
inhabitants of Vreoci who live nearby get evacuated.
On Saturday, 17th of May, by repairing the transformer station, the
Third Phase of Dry Separation was rendered usable, and on the next day
its bunker part was able to receive the coal from ECS system from Field D.
The works on transformer stations in new Drying Plant, Wet Separation
and water intake structure are being performed at the moment. The
consequences of the flood are being removed in the parts of “Enrichment
plant”. The priority is putting the facility for the processing of drinking
water in function, by which the water supply in Vreoci and other
industrial facilities in this local community would be provided. It was
planned that by Sunday, 25th May, all the facilities for coal processing get
ready for the continuation of production in Mining Basin Kolubara.
Within Kolubara Metal,
“Elmont” suffered the most damage
KOLUBARA newsletter
KOLUBARA newsletter
In the floods that hit Serbia, the integral part of “Kolubara Metal”,
the profit center “Elmont” from Lajkovac, was flooded completely. Within
35 minutes the water entered the business premises which cover 3,000
square meters and it stopped at the height of 1.5 m. The workers spent
Sunday cleaning the workshops and offices. The teams for deratization and
disinsectization are about to come and make lists of all that was damaged.
In other parts of “Metal” in Vreoci, the new workshop for production
of steel construction was flooded, and the mobile cabinets with equipment
and clothes are under water in the fields “Tamnava West” and “Veliki
Crljeni”. The workshop should be usable by the end of the week, said
Dragan Maksimović, the deputy director of “Metal”.
The works on erection of bucket-wheel excavator 740 L are continued
at the erection yard of “Tamnava West field” in Kalenić.
Twenty-four hour rescue
of the affected population
KOLUBARA newsletter
KOLUBARA newsletter
Engagement of the Fire rescue unit of Lazarevac in the fight against
the water blind force in the territory of Lazarevac Municipality was
ongoing from the moment when the first sign of a slightly higher water
level of the river Ljig was noticed in the area of the village Dudovica. For
72 hours, the entire unit of 38 firefighters, with five vehicles and five
boats, was rescuing the population in Vreoci, Medoševac, Junkovac, Veliki
Crljeni, Stepojevac... Fight for human lives required human efforts, and
the members of the army, police and anti-terrorism force came to help in
the evacuation of the population. All the affected population was taken
care of in the temporary accommodation, in the hall of the Sports Centre
“Kolubara” and in the old Partizan hall.
Tap water is not potable
KOLUBARA newsletter
KOLUBARA newsletter
Lazarevac tap water is not potable, not suitable for cooking or washing
the teeth, is a warning sent to all the citizens by the doctor Verica Đokić
Guconja, the Head of the Epidemiological service of Health Center “Dr.
Đorđe Kovačević” in Lazarevac. Sanitary water can be used for hygienic
purposes, but it is unacceptable that it enters the digestive tract. The wells
from the flooded areas or areas that are not under the water are not for
the use, since there is high possibility that the septic tanks spilled into
them, due to the enormous quantity of precipitation and swollen ground
waters. For hygiene, the imperative is the frequent hand washing with
the warm water and soap. Mrs. Guconja warned that at this moment the
most important is to save the lives preventing water-related epidemics
that may be fatal and cause much more damage than catastrophic floods
that affected our country, adding that the epidemiological situation in
Lazarevac and four shelters is stable with the normal number of intestinal
infection for this time of year. Epidemiological surveillance is carried out
24 hours a day.
Headquarters for donations and supply
KOLUBARA newsletter
KOLUBARA newsletter
Immediately after the Mining Basin “Kolubara”, on 17th May, appealed
for the assistance in form of drinking water, since the daily need is 15.000
liters, for the employees who are engaged in mitigation of consequences of
floods, the donations began to arrive. Among the first ones, the Ministry
of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia responded to the appeal and
delivered over 26.500 liters of drinking water and thirty some blankets
needed as well. Many others have joined the appeal so that the help
arrived from Foundry “Ligrap” of Belosavci, Automobile and Motorcycle
Association of Serbia, City Emergency Committee of Novi Sad, Crystal
Field of Pozega. In addition to bottled water the help from numerous
citizens also arrived, who sent blankets, comforters, pillows, bath towels,
towels, sheets, socks for adults, as well as baby blankets, comforters, and
sleeping baby bags.
Bottled water was given on Sunday 18th May, thanks to the donations
from church and the parish of spa Vrujici, SZR “Crn Bor” of Sopot
and “Knjaz Miloš” of Aranđelovac. The people from Burovo organized
themselves and managed to collect a certain quantity of bottled water
and also blankets, covers and bath towels. SZTUR “Građevinar“ of Raska
brought bottled water and nearly 300 various pieces of preserved meat
in cans, personal hygiene kits, baby food, convenience food… One of the
major donors of blankets was the company “Paleta” of Kovacica providing
400 blankets and 40 pillows. Blankets are no longer necessary to the
Mining Basin “Kolubara”, and received donations not necessary to this
company will be forwarded to those in need.
The management of Mining Basin “Kolubara” is very much grateful for
all the help the donors have given in times crisis.
KOLUBARA newsletter
KOLUBARA newsletter
KOLUBARA newsletter
Public Relations Office:
Radoš Lazarević,
tel. +381.11.8122.704,
[email protected]

newsletter - PD RB Kolubara