Labelled the €1.3 trillion investment offensive, more than 2000 projects have been identified by the European Commission’s new Task Force on Investment (made up of representatives of the EC, EIB and member states) for fast-tracked financing from President Juncker’s recently announced €315 billion stimulus plan.
Belgrade/Banja Luka/Sarajevo, 16 December 2014: As the third annual summit of Chinese and Central and Eastern European leaders gets underway today in Belgrade, problems are mounting for the lignite projects planned in the Balkan region. Today alone, an official complaint has been submitted to the Energy Community Secretariat on the planned 600 MW Ugljevik III lignite power plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a new analysis has been published showing that the planned 450 MW Tuzla 7 lignite plant – also in Bosnia and Herzegovina – is likely to be economically unviable.
In the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, approximately 150 km east of Banja Luka, Comsar Energy Republika Srpska (CERS) is planning to build the 2x300 MW Ugljevik 3 lignite fired power plant. This complaint outlines aspects of the Energy Community law that the plant would breach if constructed.
The public company Elektroprivreda BiH is developing a project for the construction of unit 7 at the Tuzla lignite-fired power plant. The key financial indicators presented in JP Elektroprivrede BiH's document have been derived in an unclear manner, but even with these figures it is clear that the project is poorly grounded. This creates potential threats to Bosnia and Herzegovina's public budget since the project will likely receive state support.
Skopje/ Strasbourg – The Standing Committee of the Bern Convention, a binding international legal instrument in the field of nature conservation for signatory countries, announced today (pdf) that it will open a case file to address the complaint made by Eko-svest about the planned hydropower plants in Mavrovo national park.
The total costs of the Boskov Most hydropower plant project in Macedonia will possibly cost more than twice the projected EUR 84 million, considering that many aspects have so far not been studied or remain unresolved.
Bucharest -- The European Commission has opened an infringement case against Romania regarding the lignite quarry extension at the Rovinari complex in Gorj County. The Commission suspects Romania of not complying with the EU Directive concerning the environmental impact assessment of projects.
Ljubljana -- A new briefing by Slovenian NGO Focus shows how misguided assessments of future viability and corruption led to TES6 lignite unit costing more than double the estimated amount, bringing annual losses of tens of millions of euros, and creating only a fraction of the number of jobs promised.
An unprecedented ruling and serious tough talking emanated from the European Ombudsman at the end of October following an investigation into the EIB’s involvement with a bridge construction project in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Describing the approach taken by the EIB in the case as “wholly unacceptable”, the Ombudsman's conclusion pulled no punches in asserting that the bank's “maladministration risks putting into question the European Union’s commitment to strengthening the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”