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Bosnia's EPBiH gets approval for construction China-backed coal-fired unit

Staff Writer |
Reuters reported that shareholders of Bosnian power utility EPBiH gave the go ahead for construction of a China-backed coal-fired unit, which will be the largest postwar energy project in the Balkan state.

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The Balkans are increasingly turning to China for funding as the European Union, World Bank and other institutions cut back on financing coal-based projects. China Gezhouba Group and Guandong Electric Power Design will build the 450 megawatt (MW) unit in the city of Tuzla at a cost of BAM 1.8 billion, to replace three outdated units at the 715 MW plant.

EPBiH said its shareholders approved on Tuesday a set of decisions aimed at expediting construction of the unit. The project will be financed via a BAM 1.2 billion loan from the state-funded Export Import Bank of China while the remainder will be provided by EPBiH. The Chinese loan will be repaid over 20 years, including a five-year grace period.

The shareholders’ assembly said that the project is expected to be completed within 56 months. The new unit will generate 2,740 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity and around 390 GWh of thermal energy a year and will increase EPBiH’s power generating capacity by 26.7 percent.

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