International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Bosnia's CoM Chair-Construction of ‘Buk Bijela’ hydropower plant will resume

November 17, 2022
The Chairman of Bosnia’s Council of Ministers, Zoran Tegeltija, said during his visit to Belgrade on Thursday that he expects that political blockades will be removed by spring and that the construction of the "Buk Bijela" Hydroelectric Plant will begin.
Tegeltija also said that the public electric utility company in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Elektroprivreda Republika Srpska, is currently building several more hydroelectric plants.
He said that at the moment, the “Dabar” Hydroelectric Plant is being worked on, which will be owned by “Elektroprivreda Republika Srpska”, and joint investments are being made in the Sutjeska Hydroelectric Plant, which is being worked on with Chinese partners.
“I believe that it would be good if the state's ownership should be as large as possible in the construction of any production capacity,” said Tegeltija at a press conference after the Regional Conference on Renewable Energy Sources in Belgrade.
As for Buk Bijela, Tegeltija said it is still a “top project” which includes renewable energy sources.
“For me, a very significant reason is that the public company “Elektroprivreda Republika Srpska” is a co-owner there. My position is that the state must have as much of its own production capacity as possible,” said Tegeltija.
Tegeltija argued that the obstructions to the project are purely political.
“We have a political request that is hard to understand at the moment and it comes from political Sarajevo, and the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina is involved in this process, and we are waiting for a decision on that, to continue the construction of ‘Buk Bijela'”, says Tegeltija.
Tegeltija specified that at the moment preparatory works are being carried out at that location and that nothing has been suspended, but that without the decision of the Constitutional Court it is difficult to start more serious works.
“‘Buk Bijela’ would significantly increase the stability of electricity supply, especially in Republika Srpska and part of Serbia. They currently need more electricity than we currently have,” he said.
Tegeltija urged those blocking this project to give up and allow it to be completed in the next few years.
“I hope that in political Sarajevo, especially after the problems we are having now with energy products, which started before the strong increase in prices, they will understand that at this moment, due to political attitudes, they are doing much more damage,” he said.
In July 2022, the BiH Constitutional Court issued a partial decision on admissibility and merits at the request of 24 Bosnian MPs on the concession for the HPP Buk Bijela. The BiH Concessions Commission was thus tasked with resolving the disputed issues between BiH and the Republika Srpska (RS) entity regarding the award of concessions within three months.
The MPs asked that the RS’ decision granting a concession for the construction of the HPP on the Upper Drina river be revoked. The appeal states that decisions regarding state property, such as rivers at international borders, can only be made at the BiH level.
Despite the appeal and clear position of the Attorney General's Office that the state could not be bypassed, the cornerstone was laid in mid-May this year in Foca for the Buk Bijela HPP.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bosnias-com-chair-construction-of-buk-bijela-hydropower-plant-will-resume/

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