Coal has a vital importance for Serbia's economy - as coal-fired power plants produce almost 70% of the country's energy. It has geological reserves in 13 bln tons of coal - 67% of which is located in Kosovo lignite basin.
Most of the country's coal reserves are concentrated in 4 coal basins: Kolubara, Kostolac, Kosovo, and Kovin, from which Kosovo basin is the largest. Until 2006 the country also exploited Pljevlja and Maoče coal basins in Montenegro. Currently 100% of coal is being extracted in surface (open pit) mines.
At the Communist era Serbia produced about 38-40 mtpa of coal; after some drop in 1991-1994 Serbia could increase coal extraction up to 44 mtpa in 1998, followed with 25% fall in 1999 (due to NATO Operation Allied Force); in 2000-2004 Serbia could restore coal production up to ex-Yugoslavia level in 40 mtpa. In 2005-2009 Serbia decreased coal production to 35-36 mtpa - due to replacement of coal with natural gas in few power plants.
Currently Serbia produces about 36 mtpa of coal - and 100% supplies its power plants with fuel. The country doesn't import thermal coal but exports small volume in neighboring countries. However the known tensions directly impact the country's lignite supply from Kosovo basin - that may lead to the further replacement of coal with natural gas in Serbia's power generation.
Currently Serbia imports about 1.4 mtpa of coking coal for its coke-chemical plants - as well as it imports metallurgical coke (mainly from Bosnia & Herzegovina).
Notes: 1) Not disputing Kosovo's legal status and international recognition, we provide the above figures with inclusion of Kosovo; 2) Figures for period before 2006 are given with inclusion of Montenegro, and for period 2006-2009 - without Montenegro