Bosnia: EPBiH privatization through the backdoor, the case of Alpiq deal on Tuzla TPP new unit deal

, SEE Energy News

Strategic partnership with Swiss Alpiq in construction of TPP Tuzla unit 7, terminated three years ago and there was no economical explanation for this procedure which was brought to cancellation. Energy state company EPBiH never gave official statement or explanation was was Alpiq so preferences partner or why did Alpiq resign from this deal.

50% of the ownership is being offered to strategic investors in future unit 7 TPP Tuzla after “the sale of energy resources” was terminated and national treasure was promised not to be sold. By control of thermal capacities, strategic investor will achieve ability to manage Bosnia energy company EPBiH (Elektroprivreda BiH) what can refer to privatization through backdoor in the future. The worst is that old blocks will “waste its lifespan” and turn off and the foreign investor who will become owner of Block 7 will have control over significant part of Elektroprivreda BiH.

This will be even more noticeable when planned construction of the new block in TPP Kakanj is finished and all existing thermal blocks are turned off.

Director of EPBiH, Elvedin Grabovica, was announcing the completely new procedure for election of strategic partner for Block 7, but the only thing which is new is that the part of constructed motion is planned to be given to foreign hands.

The difference between this and the previous procedure is that EPBiH wanted to provide the return on equity to strategic investor within cession of electricity overages while in this case this idea should be achieved with land cession.

10% of collateral supposed to be given by EPBiH and Alpiq or 75 million EUR each as a sign of good will while the rest of 600 million EUR would be provided by Alpiq which should get compensation in electricity form. Ownership over Block 7 in TPP Tuzla would remain 100% domestic.

If someone is thinking with the logic of a good host, it is not hard to judge him or her.

It is symptomatic that SDP or other parties in coalition like SBB are pleading against privatization of electrical power utilities or telecom and it will be interesting to see reactions in this type of strategic partnership in construction of electricity objects.

Knowing the political circumstances in BiH, two blocks are confronted because of government reconstruction and other important questions and we get impression to have a new war field where politician will compete.

Therefore, proposal for strategic partnership need to arrive in FBiH Parliament as soon as possible.

Too much time has been spent on construction of electricity objects in BiH, and the new conflict seems to be on the horizon.

Source; Indikator/Serbia Energy See desk