A huge blast has struck one of the key coal-fired power plants in Kosovo, causing a number of casualties and expected fatalities.
The blast hit the 345 MW Kosovo A plant on the morning of 6 June. The explosion was heard over 6 miles from the source, and reports have claimed three people have been killed – although this has not been confirmed.
Video footage shows black smoke billowing into the sky, while witnesses report seeing ambulances racing to the scene throughout the streets of the capital.
"We have information about some fatalities but that has still to be confirmed," Health Minister Ferid Agani told reporters outside the plant, cordoned off by security forces as workers were evacuated.
Fadil Ismajli, whose economics ministry covers the energy sector, said that the power plant had been shut down.
The Kosovo A plant, in the country’s capital city, Pristina, is the second largest power plant in Kosovo. Together with the Kosovo B plant, it supplies 90% of the country’s electricity.
The country is facing an energy crisis, with regular blackouts still suffered fifteen years after the country’s war for independence with Serbia, during the collapse of federal Yugoslavia.
Ismajli said that the accident occurred when a hydrogen tank exploded in a separate part of the power station from the electricity generators.
Plans have been in place to shut down the plant in the next several years as part of an effort to upgrade Kosovo's creaking energy system. The Wold Bank has indicated that it would support the country in shutting down its Kosovo A and B plants (which are 40 and 27 years old, respectively) and help Kosovo transition to using clean coal power.
Written by Sam Dodson
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/power/06062014/explosion_at_kosovo_power_plant_947/