Bosnia & Croatia: Cross-border impact of Comsar Energy new TPP Stanari on the environment to Croatia could halt the project?

, SEE Energy News

Construction projects of two coal power plants in the Republic of Srpska are progressing well, the TPP “Ugljevik” and the TPP “Stanari”. BIH was obliged to inform Croatia about the implementation process of environmental impact assessment for these projects and to send us parts of the study related to the cross-border impact, so that citizens of Croatia had opportunity to express their opinion on the project report CRO medias.

However, BiH has not completed this step so far. TPP “Stanari” is planned to have a capacity of 300 MW, but an alternative start of electricity production is scheduled for 2015. In the Ugljevik, which is also near the Croatian border, there were plans of building two blocks of 300 MW. The construction has not started yet, but it is scheduled for the spring of 2014. It was anticipated that the TPP Ugljevik has been using coal with high sulfur content of three to six percent, while in the TPP Stanari, lignite should be used.

If BiH would fulfill its obligations under the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in cross-border territory (Espoo Convention), The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nature said that neither for the TPP Stanari nor the Ugljevik TPP  have not received notifications documents from BIH. “The Ministry of Environment and Nature will request information from the competent authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to define the needs of cross-border environmental impact assessment in accordance with the Espoo Convention”, was a short answer from the Ministry.

Bosnia and Herzegovina should inform Croatia of both of projects in their early stages, once environmental impact studies are made. Apart from organizing public discussions on which citizens can make comments and questions about the study, the ESPOO Convention provides notice of this process;  opportunities to participate have to be sent to the neighboring countries if there is a chance the project has an slightest impact on that country’s environment. The works on the TPP Stanari are already progressing well, stared last year, in May, making it obvious that Croatia is very late. We’re not sure that  it has occurred to the Ministry should public be informed.

Pollution from the power plant in Stanari could reach levels two to ten times higher than allowed by the Directive of the European Union, according to a study commissioned by the Centre for Environment. That association from Banja Luka has launched a campaign Stop dirty energy – because the future is renewable with raising awareness of the public about the hidden costs of such projects. ” The Stanari TPP are planned to use a Chinese technology with very low efficiency, which means the pollution produced for each megawatt hour will be higher than it would be with a better technology. Previous experience has also proved that this type of technology which will be used, cannot meet European standards of emissions. BiH is now required to comply with some of the EU directive, due to its membership in the Energy Community.  It should be added that the EU standards over the time are becoming increasingly strict. From 2018 all members of the Energy community will have to comply with more stringent emission levels prescribed in the Directive on industrial emissions. This is an additional risk for projects such as the Stanari ” , Mr. Igor Kalaba from the Center for the Environment stressed .

Source; Serbia Energy See Desk