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Dec 12, 2017 15:49 EEST
December 12 (SeeNews) - Bosnia’s Serb Republic signed on Tuesday an agreement with Chinese investors on the construction of a 300 MW thermal power plant, Gacko 2, the office of the entity president said.
The implementation of the project should be launched shortly, Serb Republic president Milorad Dodik said in a statement, adding that there are still several details that need to be harmonised.
"It is high time that we approach the construction of this facility which will provide security and jobs to the Serb Republic," Dodik noted.
Following the signing ceremony, the Serb Republic energy minister, Petar Djokic, told the media in Banja Luka that the two sides are now focused on establishing a joint venture, a process which will take up to 12 months. The Chinese investors will control 51% of the new company, while the Serb Republic will control the remainder.
Neither the president nor the energy minister disclosed the name of the Chinese partner, but in July Djokic revealed it will be Poly Group, after Dodik met with their representatives in Belgrade.
In April, however, the energy ministry of the Serb Republic said it has signed a cooperation agreement on the construction of Gacko 2 with representatives of China Africa Investment and Development Co and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC). A year earlier, it also signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of the plant with CMEC and Poly Group.
The Serb Republic previously announced it had picked Czech power utility CEZ for the project. However, in 2009 CEZ decided to pull out of the deal and sold its stake in Nove Elektrane RS (NERS), a joint venture company set up to build the new power plant. A few months later, CEZ launched an arbitration case against Bosnia over what it said was the Balkan country's failure to honour its commitments under the project. The company won the case in 2014.
The Gacko energy and coal mining complex is located in the southern part of the Serb Republic, near the entity's borders with Croatia and Montenegro. Gacko is one of the two coal-fired plants in the Serb Republic. The other plant of the same capacity is part of the Ugljevik energy complex located in northeastern Bosnia.
The Serb Republic is one of two autonomous entities that make up Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other one is the Federation.
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