Bosnia/Croatia, report: NGOs oppose the construction of coal fired thermal power plants in the region of SEE

28. November 2014. / SEE Energy News

NGO organizations in the region of South East Europe are quite active in opposing the projects of construction of new coal fired power plants. The energy sector is a priority in their actions because this sector is “essential for the stability of the country, but at the same time the most important pollutant in the world and the cause of global climate change.”

The latest initiative of Centre for Environment from Banja Luka refers to Study on the impact on the life path for a thermal power plant Ugljevik 3. In their opinion, the Study does not provide the minimum information for the pollution evaluation which thermal power plant will cause, but contains information about the current status and general information about potential pollution, which can be applied to any plant. The opinion of the organization is that poor quality studies of environmental impact have been made also for TPP Stanari, small hydro power plants in the national park Sutjeska and HPP Medna on the Sana. From the Center for Environmental they appeal that the impact study for TPP Ugljevik 3 be declared invalid and to draft a new study.

Centre has also launched a campaign “Battle for Sutjeska” which is a response to plans for bulding the small hydro power plants on the rivers Sutjeska and Hrcavka. It is alleged that these rivers’ canyons along with the forest Perucica represent a habitat for many endangered and endemic species, whose survival was threatened by building hydro power plants.

In BiH also operates the Coalition for Sanu, a group which currently consists of 22 associations, whose goals are suspending plans for bulding a hydropower plant at the Sana. Coalition demands termination of the concession contracts for small hydro power plant “Medna” at the Sana considering that this would, in their opinion, lead to the destruction of one of the cleanest rivers in the country. Given that the deadlines stipulated by the contract have expired, the conditions by which the Government of Republika Srpska could unilaterally terminate the contract have been created, assessed in the Coalition.

Activists of non- governmental organization Greenpeace in Croatia for a long time protest against coal thermal power plants Plomin C. The reason for the latest in a series of protests was the first public appearance of representatives of the company Marubeni, interested in investing in this thermal power plant. Greenpeace along with Green Action fought against this project.

In their opinion, the electricity produced in that thermal power plant, especially in Croatia as a country that does not have its own coal reserves, will be two times more expensive than the electricity that is currently available on the market. This agreement, according to representatives of the Green Action, can be realized only if the foreign investor guarantees long-term purchase of electricity, which will be detrimental to the Croatian consumers and citizens.

The organization recalls that Marubeni has already been convicted for corruption in several major energy projects, and notes that the Electric Power Industry of Croatia with such a reputation guarantees that it will buy back at least 50 percent of the electricity produced in TPP Plomin C during 25 years. Green Action opposes the conclusion of this harmful contract, seeks to withdraw from negotiations with Marubeni but also from the “Plomin C”.

Green Action demands of the Croatian Government to withhold support for the construction of a thermal power plant in Ploce. This project, in addition to being economically inefficient, such as TPP Plomin C, would have a huge impact on the health of the population and contribute to global climate change, says Green Action.

The organization ORaH also opposes to the projects Plomin C and Ploce, since in these projects there is a change in spatial plans in order to carry out “a decision about something called strategic projects”. HEP’s obligation to purchase 50 percent of the electricity produced from TPP Plomin C is contrary to the rules of the internal electricity market of the European Union, estimates ORaH. This organization opposes also the construction of thermal power plants on gas in Osijek. It criticizes the decision of the Government look for a partner for the hydro power plant Kosinj- Senj, because “the project should be declared strategic and it should provide financial resources for it in order to remain in the national property”.

The organization Green Home from Montenegro opposed the construction of the second unit of the thermal power plant in Pljevlja. The contractor on this project should be known by the end of the year. Green Home assess that so far has not been done study on the pollution impact from TPP Pljevlja on the health of the inhabitants of that city. In order to respond to the question of what does Montenegro get and what lost with building of this thermal power plants, should be done extensive economic, environmental and analysis on health effects, it is the conclusion of this organization.

Green Home and CEE Bankwatch Network estimated that the inability to comply with the latest EU standards on pollution is a serious risk for TPP Pljevlja. Only one of the seven preliminary offers is in line with the EU directive on industrial emissions, none of the bids reaches the levels of efficiency in relation to best available technology. These weaknesses are high economic risks due to the additional investment required to achieve compliance with the Directive on industrial emissions when it becomes mandatory in Montenegro, writes in a statement signed by the two organizations.

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