According to the Government of the Republic of Srpska (RS), Czech company Witkowitz is considering investing 520 million euros in the construction of 350 MW coal-fired unit at thermal power plant Gacko, which will be a replacement for the existing unit.
The statement from the Government said that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is expected to be signed soon. The new unit will feature advanced technology that will reduce the emissions of harmful gases in the atmosphere.
TPP Gacko is operated by state-owned power utility ERS and has one unit with installed capacity of 300 MW. It was commissioned in 1983.
This is not the first Czech company interested in investing in TPP Gacko. In 2006, Czech CEZ and Bosnian power utility ERS established a joint venture for the purpose of the project. Joint venture was called NERS and it was 51% owned by CEZ. But, the joint venture agreement was frozen by the local court in Trebinje at the request of minority shareholders in TPP Gacko, who claimed that the joint venture agreement was damageable. The agreement was eventually terminated in 2009 and CEZ launched an arbitration against ERS, which it won in 2014, when ERS had to pay 4 million euros in damages.
In 2016, RS signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the construction of thermal power plant Gacko 2 (new 300 MW unit) with representatives of Chinese companies China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) and China Poly Group.