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SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), November 3 (SeeNews) – The cornerstone of a new 450 MW unit of Tuzla thermal power plant (TPP) could be laid at the end of the month, Bosnia's presidency said.
Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosniak member of the tripartite collective presidency, met on Thursday with the ambassador of China to Bosnia, Chen Bo, to discuss the planned construction of Tuzla TPP's unit, as well as the construction of the 350 MW Banovici TPP, the presidency said in a statement.
The Chinese side has completed all necessary procedures for the construction of the Tuzla unit, and it is now waiting for the government of Bosnia's Federation entity to do the same, the presidency noted.
Apart from economic advantages, this project has a great ecological significance because the new unit will significantly reduce air pollution in Tuzla, Izetbegovic said.
Earlier this year, Bosnian power utility Elektroprivreda BiH [SAJ:JPESR] said it has requested a government guarantee for a loan from China's Ex-Im Bank for the construction of the unit. The net contract price of construction works is projected at 722.35 million euro ($841.3 million). The loan being sought should cover 85% of the cost of the project, while EPBiH will contribute the remaining 15%.
In 2014, the Federation said it had selected a consortium of China's Gezhouba Group Company Limited and Gunagdong Electric Power Design Institute as the preferred bidder for the construction of Unit 7 at Tuzla coal-fired power plant.
In November last year EPBiH said it had signed a framework deal for the construction of the unit with Ex-Im Bank.
According to Bosnian media reports, European Union credit institutions have declined to finance the project as it fails to meet the bloc's strict environmental requirements.
The Federation is one of two autonomous entities that form Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other one is the Serb Republic.