Bosnia’s EPBiH signs deal with China’s Eximbank on new unit at Tuzla TPP

Bosnia’s EPBiH signs deal with China’s Eximbank on new unit at Tuzla TPP
By bne IntelliNews November 8, 2016

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s largest power utility Elektroprivreda BiH (EPBiH) signed a framework agreement with China’s Eximbank on the construction of a seventh unit at its Tuzla thermal power plant at the 16 + 1 Summit in China, the company announced on on November 7. 

The 450 MW unit is estimated to cost around BAM1.44bn (€740mn) and will replace units 3 and 4 that are due to be shut down. The TPP’s capacity will remain the same.

EPBiH has said that it will launch tenders for preparatory works for the construction of the unit by the end of the year. The preparatory works are due to begin in spring next year and will last 18 months. The whole project should be completed by the end of 2022.

In 2014, Bosnia signed a memorandum of understanding with a consortium led by China's Gezhouba Group on the construction of the unit. The Gezhouba Group-Lider Guandong Electric Power Design Institute consortium offered to build the project for €785.6mn, with 15% of the financing coming from EPBiH and the remaining 85% via credits from Eximbank.

EPBiH called the international tender for pre-qualification of partners in the unit 7 project in July 2012 and twelve companies and consortia from all over the globe sent letters of intent. The project is considered to be one of the largest investments in the pipeline for the country.

Environment watchdogs have opposed the construction of the unit over emission standards concerns. In October, Sarajevo-based environmental watchdog Ekotim said it had filed an official complaint to the Energy Community dispute settlement mechanism due to concerns over the pollution limits set for the unit.

The complaint claims that the environment and tourism ministry of the Bosnian Federation has failed to require the plant to comply with the Industrial Emissions Directive pollution limits for new plants and required only older, less stringent standards for SO2 and dust. As a consequence, additional investments may be needed once the plant is built.

EPBiH operates two coal-fired power plants. One of them is Tuzla with an installed capacity of 715MW and annual production of some 3,100GWh, and Kakanj, which has a 450MW installed capacity and an annual output of 2,300GWh.

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