Bosnias alumina plant Birac remains without natural gas supply.

By bne IntelliNews March 14, 2013
Natural gas supply to Bosnias sole alumina plant Birac were interrupted on Wednesday, March 13, because of unpaid bills of nearly BAM 22mn (EUR 11mn), news agency Srna quoted information from BH Gas importer and distributor. Sarajevo-based BH Gas also said that the debt of regional gas distributor Zvornik Stan has reached BAM 3.6mn due to 14 unpaid bills. Zvornik Stan services the city of Zvornik, where Birac is located. BH Gas officials said that they held recently talks with representatives of Bosnias Serb Republic government and the Zvornik municipality, who pledged to take a BAM 2mn loan for the Republics Investment-Development Bank and compensate BH Gas. The implementation of this agreement and the payment of the money is a precondition for not cutting off the gas supplies to Zvornik Stan, the gas importer officials said. Back in August 2012, Birac had to halt production after BH Gas suspended its gas supply again due to BAM 22mn of unpaid debt. Shortly after that the supplies were restored after Biracs management reached an agreement on the dynamics of debt repayment with BH Gas. Birac consumes 50% of Bosnias complete natural gas imports, its management said last year. The alumina plant employs 1,100 but the whole region of Birac, eastern Bosnia, is economically dependent on it. Lithuanian investment group Ukio Banko owns 56.8% in the alumina producer, while the remainder belongs to smaller shareholders.

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