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 2×300 MW units which would take lignite from the open cast mines at Delici, Peljave-Tobut, Baljak and part of Ugljevik-Istok.
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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 and media reports suggest that CPECC has dropped out of the project.
Ugljevik III’s environmental permit is being challenged in the Republika Srpska courts. In July 2017 the project seemed to reach a dead end when the Supreme Court of the Republika Srpska Entity cancelled the environmental permit for the project, but the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and Ecology responded by issuing another permit without repeating the environmental impact assessment process. This new permit is now being challenged in court by the Center for Environment from Banja Luka.
In December 2014 an official complaint was also 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. This led to the Energy Community opening a dispute settlement procedure, which as of May 2018 is still ongoing.
Ugljevik III is also currently under examination by the Espoo Convention Implementation Committee due to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s failure to notify neighbouring countries about the plant’s transboundary impacts.