Governments of Montenegro and Republika Srpska talks on environmental impact of RWE Drina hydro projects

14. December 2012. / SEE Energy News

Meeting of Representatives of the Republic Srpska and Montenegrin Government regarding the planned construction of Buk Bijela and Foca will be held tomorrow in Banja Luka. From the Entity Ministry of Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Environment they announced that a study on the impact on the environment of hydro power plants Buk Bijela and Foca will be presented at the meeting and consultations will be held on planned projects to build these power plants in the context of the potential cross-border impact on the environment.

The talks will be attended by Minister for Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Environment of RS Srebrenka Golic, while the delegation of the Government of Montenegro will consist of the representatives of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, the Ministry of Economy and institutions in charge of environmental protection.

The meeting will also be attended by the Minister of Industry, Energy and Mines of the Republic Srpska, Zeljko Kovacevic, director of “Electric Power Industry of the Republic Srpska” Branislav Milekić, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic Srpska, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Neđo Kapetina, director of the Fund for Environmental Protection of the Republic Srpska Srdjan Todorovic and representatives of the Office of the RS for the protection of cultural, historical and natural heritage.

On November 8, the National Assembly of the Republic Srpska, after a heated debate and opposition gave its approval to the government’s agreement on the selection of a strategic partner for the project Hydro Power System (HPS) Upper Drina and a strategic partnership agreement with the German company RWE.

This project has caused earlier reactions from RS and BH and neighboring Montenegro. The RS government committed to present to Montenegro a study which claims that the construction of hydro power plants “Foca” and “Buk Bijela” in the upper basin of the river Drina has no influence on the environment.

Otherwise, the contract which was signed by the RS government on October 26, and then confirmed by the Parliament, defined the ratio of ownership: RWE (60 percent), “EPIRS” (40 percent) in the joint venture, and we are talking about the construction of four hydro power plants – “Buk Bijela”, “Foca”, “Sutjeska” and “Paunci”.

The contract clearly states that the future concession company will have no obligation to supply electricity to tariff customers in RS and will be free to sell in adomestic and international markets.

It is interesting that in the contract states that the strategic partner is aware that the resolution of the appeal of “Barack” from Israel is in progress in the Constitutional Court and that “the RS government will protect ” the strategic partner and the concession company for any losses, damages and expenses (excluding loss of profit), if the consequences of this procedure are of direct influence on the project HPS “Upper Drina”.

It is clearly specified that the German company could not possibly be responsible regarding the trials being conducted by “Barack” from Israel.

Source Serbia Energy Magazine

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