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Chinese investors affirm support for Bosnia's Tuzla TPP project

Author Radomir Ralev
Chinese investors affirm support for Bosnia's Tuzla TPP project Tuzla TPP Author: MoserB Licence: Public domain

SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), October 24 (SeeNews) - China's Gezhouba Group and Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute have denied media reports about alleged withdrawal of Chinese state support for the project for construction of a new unit at Bosnia's Tuzla thermal power plant (TPP).

The consortium of Gezhouba Group, Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute and Bosnian power utility Elektroprivreda BiH (EPBiH) has the support of all parties involved in the financing and construction of the project, the three companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

The validity of one of the approvals for the project granted by the Chinese government last year expired on October 17, 2018 but the consortium plans to repeat the application process and expects to receive a renewed consent within a reasonable time period, the companies said.

Earlier this month, Vienna-based Energy Community sent a letter to the members of Bosnia's state aid council regarding state support for the construction of Unit 7 of Tuzla TPP after complaints were received from the Aarhus Center and the CEE Bankwatch Network about potential non-compliance with EU rules, Bosnian media reported earlier this month.

The state aid council dismissed the doubts of the Energy Community about the lawfulness of a loan guarantee issued to EPBiH for the project. The decision was made in accordance with the Bosnian regulations in the field of state aid, as well as the EU rules, said the state aid council, the body tasked with control of state aid in Bosnia. 

In August, the government of Bosnia's Federation entity said it decided to provide a guarantee for a 613.99 million euro ($709.7 million) loan from China's Ex-Im Bank, which EPBiH will use to finance the construction of a 450 MW Unit 7 at the existing Tuzla lignite-fired power plant. The loan will finance 85% of the total cost of the project.

The Federation is one of two autonomous entities that form Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other one is the Serb Republic.

($ =0.865121 euro)