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Ugljevik III lignite power plant, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ugljevik III near Bijeljina in the Republika Srpska part of Bosnia and Herzegovina is planned to consist of 2x300 MW units which would take lignite from the open cast mines at Delici, Peljave-Tobut, Baljak and part of Ugljevik-Istok. An existing unit of 300 MW at the site, operating since 1985, sits alongside the half-built Ugljevik II whose construction was never finished, and which is now the subject of a long-running dispute with Slovenia.

The new plant is promoted by Russian billionaire Rashid Sardarov's Comsar Energy and planned to be constructed by the China Power Engineering and Consulting Group Corporation (CPECC). China Development Bank representatives were present at the signing of an agreement between CPECC and the Republika Srpska authorities, indicating that the bank may be interested in financing, however this has never been confirmed.

The plant will have an extremely low net efficiency of 34.1 percent, compared to 40 percent as the best available standard according to the EU's 2006 reference documents.

Ugljevik III's Environmental Permit is being challenged in the Republika Srpska courts, and in December 2014 an official complaint was made to the Energy Community Secretariat because the environmental impact assessment is missing key information and that the data on likely emissions of SO2, NOx and dust are false.

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Latest developments


 

Press release | April 28, 2017

The European Union has today approved an updated set of binding standards for power plants, which include new, stricter pollution limits.

Blog entry | March 29, 2017

At least 9 new lignite power plants are being planned in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, but according to our new report their feasibility studies do not take into account the effect of CO2 prices. As a result, when these countries join the EU, the plants will not be competitive anymore and will need to be closed down – just like the many coal power plants in Western Europe that are now being shut. The taxpayers in the Western Balkans will end up footing the bill.

Press release | March 29, 2017

A new Bankwatch analysis examining ten coal-fired power plant projects across the Western Balkans finds that, once the cost of carbon emissions allowances are factored in, they could become a serious liability for both the companies involved and the public. Moreover, only a few feasibility assessments for coal power plants in the region are publicly available, and most of those have failed to properly take carbon costs into account, the briefing authors note.

Blog entry | November 14, 2016

Now is the time for southeast Europe to start an inclusive and just transition away from lignite, argues new Bankwatch research.

Press release | November 14, 2016

Promises for new jobs in south-east Europe’s coal sector are exaggerated, a new Bankwatch report reveals. Hardly any coal operations across the region are economically viable, and as a result many coal workers, especially in the mines, are set to lose their jobs, even if the plans for countless new power plants materialise. Governments, coal workers and their wider communities need to work together towards a just transition.

Publications

Briefing | March 29, 2017

This briefing analyses ten coal-fired power plant projects across the Western Balkans and finds that, once the cost of carbon emissions allowances are factored in, they could become a serious liability for both the companies involved and the public.

Briefing | November 14, 2016

Coal is the single biggest contributor to global climate change. But governments and investors planning new coal capacities have a range of flimsy arguments why coal would be the best or the only alternative. This briefing busts a number of myths surrounding coal, such as "coal is cheap", "alleviates poverty" or "coal is clean".

Study | November 14, 2016

This report reveals how and why promises for new jobs in south-east Europe’s coal sector are exaggerated. Hardly any coal operations across the region are economically viable, and as a result many coal workers, especially in the mines, are set to lose their jobs, even if the plans for countless new power plants materialise. Governments, coal workers and their wider communities need to work together towards a just transition.

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Briefing | July 31, 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.

Briefing | 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.