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Serbia restarts operations at flood-hit Tamnava-West coal mine - media

BELGRADE (Serbia), December 26 (SeeNews) - Serbia on Friday partially resumed production at the flood-hit Tamnava-West open-cast coal mine which supplies the country's biggest power generating complex, TENT, local media reported.

In September, activities were launched to dewater Tamnava-West after it was inundated during the record floods that hit the Balkan state in May.

Production at Tamnava-West, part of the Kolubara mining basin, is not expected to get back to full capacity before the end of April or early May as around 50 million cubic meters of water still need to be pumped out, news agency Tanjug reported, quoting prime minister Aleksandar Vucic as saying after he attended the restart of mining operations.

"This [the restart of production at Tamnava-West] is important for the growth of GDP [gross domestic product], because nothing raises our GDP as mining and coal production [..]," Vucic said.

Prior to the May floods, Tamnava-West used to produce half of Kolubara's coal output which totaled over 30 million tonnes in 2013.

The damage from the floods has forced state-owned power utility EPS to contract the import of coal and electricity to avert any shortfalls during the winter period.

The government in Belgrade expects a GDP drop of 1.0% this year due to weaker agricultural output and the flooding fallout.

The Serbian economy expanded by a real 2.5% in 2013.

The coal-fired TENT power generation complex has a total installed capacity of 3,288 megawatts.

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