Bosnia and Herzegovina: Gas interconnection with Croatia, draft law approved

, SEE Energy News

The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, FBiH, pointed out that the construction of the new gas pipeline will reduce dependence on the supply of natural gas from Russia, as well as solve the problem of relying on the obsolete gas pipeline which supplies this resource through Serbia.

FBiH approved a draft law on a new gas pipeline that will connect Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Croatian gas network, thus creating legal preconditions for the completion of this important infrastructure project.

The law on so-called southern interconnection regulates the construction of a gas pipeline in the direction Zagvozd (Croatia)-Posusje (BiH) -Tomislavgrad-Suica-Kupres-Bugojno-Novi Travnik/Travnik, with a branch to Mostar.

The project includes infrastructure, interconnection point, investors, method of financing, public interest and real estate expropriation, land use, administrative licensing procedures and involvement of local governments, competent ministries and other administrative bodies, institutions and companies, and other issues relevant to its realization.

The point of connection of gas transport systems of the two countries will be defined by a special agreement between BH-Gas and Plinacro, which is an integral part of the intergovernmental agreement between BiH and Croatia on the construction of this pipeline.

The gas interconnection project was created after the persistent refusal of the Republic of Srpska (RS) authorities to allow the connection of the gas network of BiH and Croatia via Bosanski Brod, which was the cheapest and simplest approach. Instead, RS authorities opted to build a pipeline that would again lead to Serbia and rely solely on Russian suppliers.

Southern interconnection has now become a project of the highest priority for FBiH and it is included in all key strategic, planning and development documents on entity and state levels, including the framework BiH Energy Strategy until 2035.

The project is also directly supported by the European Union through its investment program for the Western Balkans.