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Stanari lignite power plant, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Stanari power plant under construction in early 2014.

The 300 MW Stanari power plant, promoted by EFT, constructed by China's Dongfang, and financed by the China Development Bank, is located near Doboj in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Republika Srpska part of the country. As of summer 2015 it is under construction. Originally it was planned to be a 420 MW plant but this was considered to be on the edge of economic viability and the capacity was reduced to 300 MW.

During the project's development a number of problems have been raised, including the following:

No environmental impact assessment for the changed project

The environmental impact assessment process was carried out only for the original, larger version of the project and the Republika Srpska authorities did not require a new process for the new, smaller plant.

While it may appear that a smaller plant has less environmental impact and therefore does not need a new study, in fact there were also several other changes which would change the plant's environmental impact:

  • Originally the project was planned to have a net thermal efficiency of 43 percent but the new version would have a net thermal efficiency of 34.1 per cent.
  • It was changed from supercritical pulverised lignite technology to subcritical Circulating Fluidised Bed Combustion.
  • The cooling technology has also been changed from a wet to a dry cooling system. This is one of the main reasons for the loss of thermal efficiency.


Al Jazeera's Dragan Stanimirović reports, the Stanari project is causing mixed reactions from local residents and concern to environmental groups about health impacts and CO2 emissions. (Not available in English)


Environmental permit not compliant with pollution standards

The environmental permit for Stanari allows emissions 2-3 times higher than the EU's Large Combustion Plants Directive, bringing Bosnia and Herzegovina into non-compliance with its Energy Community commitments.

Since 2006, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been a member of the Energy Community, which requires all members to commit themselves to develop a common regulatory framework for energy markets and abide by certain EU legislation.

This meant that while developing the Stanari project, Bosnia and Herzegovina was obliged to adhere to the EU Large Combustion Plants Directive (LCPD), which regulates emissions limit values from new and existing combustion plants. However the Republika Srpska authorities did not include the emissions limit values from the LCPD in Stanari’s environmental permit, but rather much laxer standards from domestic legislation with emissions 2-3 times higher than the LCPD.

In January 2014 an official complaint was submitted to the Energy Community secretariat by the Center for Environment from Banja Luka and in July 2015 it was announced that the Stanari environmental permit would be updated following changes in the Republika Srpska legislation.
However the LCPD Directive is being replaced by the EU Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), which has stricter emissions limits, and in a few years the Stanari plant will have to be brought into line with this Directive. This most likely means additional costs a few years down the line as the planned project is not currently compliant.


Latest developments


Blog entry | May 27, 2016

Last year in the EU, 12.8 GW of wind power capacity was installed – more than any other electricity generation source. This means that wind can now generate 11.4% of the EU electricity consumption in a normal wind year, according to Wind Europe. At the same time Belgium and Scotland have shut down their last coal plants, signalling the golden days of coal are far behind them.

Press release | May 26, 2016

Western Balkan countries are planning investments in wind power, but these are being heavily outweighed by their investments in coal plants, according to a CEE Bankwatch Network analysis launched today. The region’s governments are actively planning 2800 MW of new coal plants but allowing only around 1166 MW of wind power plants to be built.

Blog entry | March 16, 2016

While the Energy Community yesterday failed to consider more stringent air pollution rules for the Western Balkans, a new report quantifies the health costs of the region’s coal burning both within the region itself as well as in the neighbouring European Union.

Press release | October 16, 2015

Tirana, Albania - A group of CSOs from South East Europe (SEE) delivered over 16 000 petition signatures to Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action and Co-Chair of the Ministerial Council of the Energy Community today before its meeting in Tirana, Albania.

Blog entry | September 7, 2015

By now regular readers of the Bankwatch blog will know that the energy system in southeast Europe is corrupt, dirty and inefficient. But we now have an opportunity to change it.


Bankwatch Mail | May 26, 2016

All the Western Balkans countries have committed to increase their share of renewable energy by 2020 to reach between 25 and 40 percent of their energy mix, as part of their obligations under the Energy Community Treaty. Yet this is far from obvious when examining their investment plans for new power generation capacity. Governments are actively planning to build 2800 MW of new coal plants with construction cost of at least EUR 4.5 billion. In contrast, these countries are only planning to build around 1166 MW of wind power plants, at an estimated cost of EUR 1.89 billion.

Briefing | May 5, 2016

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Romania all plan new lignite power plants during the next few years. In contrast, most EU countries are giving up building new coal plants and seven EU states are already coal-free. Since the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank have virtually halted lending for new coal power plants, most of them are due to be financed by Chinese state banks – ExIm Bank and the China Development Bank.

Bankwatch Mail | May 14, 2015

Western Balkan countries have ambitious plans to increase their electricity generation over the next years. But what will happen if they all become a regional energy hub? Will there be a demand for all the available electricity?

Study | March 19, 2015

Country chapters available for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia.

For other languages, see here.

Analysing the estimated energy demand and production capacities in Western Balkan countries, this study shows that if countries realise their planned capacity expansions, the region will have a 56 per cent electricity surplus in 2024, led by Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Nearly all governments in the region aspire to become electricity exporters, but the study argues that if governments fail to take into account the regional perspective, they could end up with power plants becoming simply uneconomic to operate.