A growing apetite for new power plants, mainly coal-fired, in the western Balkans could end up with many of them becoming `white elephants, a study released by CEE Bankwatch Network on March 19 warns. Media across the region reported on the findings:
In light of the Mount Polley tailings dam spill in British Columbia, Canada, environmental activists in Kyrgyzstan are ringing alarm bells over a possible scenario of a similar outburst at Petrov Lake near the Kumtor gold mine project. At Mount Polley, the tailings dam at a copper and gold mine burst in August last year, spilling 25 million cubic meters of toxic waste into nearby lakes. The British Columbia provincial government appointed a commission to probe into the disaster.
It is not easy to find anywhere in Europe as much determination as in Poland for building new coal. The only place to find a similar coal enthusiasm is at the door step of Europe, in the Balkans, looking set to be fuelled by Chinese money. But even there the future of coal is shaky.
In the pale sunlight of an unseasonably warm December day, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic on Thursday cut the ribbon to open the Mihailo Pupin Bridge, spanning the Danube in west Belgrade.
A Chinese agreement to finance a high-speed railway from Belgrade to Bucharest was one of around $10bn worth of investments, mainly in the energy and infrastructure sectors, signed during a China-Central and Eastern Europe summit this week. By funding the railway, Beijing hopes to establish a rapid connection from Greece’s Pireaus Port through the Balkans to the EU member states of Central Europe.
Energy Union, the flagship initiative to wean the EU off its dependence on Russian gas, faces regulatory, financial and political obstacles that can delay or prevent funding for vital infrastructure, the EU Task Force on Investment has warned.