Republika Srpska: Uncertain construction of the South Stream through RS? The analysis;

13. December 2013. / SEE Energy News

According to the previous plan, one arm of the South Stream would be separated towards Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely towards Republik of Srpska. As things stand now, the Federation BiH will not participate in its construction, which compromises the economic feasibility of the entire investment.

 So far it is not known how much it will cost, it is not know the gas price, and it is not known when it will be fulfilled the basic requirement of building – in order that Russia pay millions in debt for gas supplies to BiH.

“The South Stream arm in BiH, namely its RS entity, should be entered near Bijeljina, then should be built over Brcko, Doboj, Banja Luka, to Novi Sad” – said so RS president Milorad Dodik. The arm construction is expected to begin in September 2014th:

” We need to solve many issues in the Feasibility Study of Main Project, and to pass a law in Republika Srpska on South Stream by September next year”, explained Dodik.

Besides the pompous announcement, it is known very little about the arm construction of the gas pipeline through the Republika Srpska. For preparatory activities it was formed the company Gas-Res, and key project point should be the creation of a joint company Gas-Res and Gazprom, which is expected early next year.

It is also fact now that there is nothing of the government story that RS will earn by charging fees of gas transport, told for RSE the editor of capital.ba portal Sinisa Vukelic:

“It really was a manipulation of the data. We will get access to the South Stream, but we could only use the gas. We will not be able to charge a transfer fees as Serbia or any other country in the region through which the South Stream passes. A host of other issues is opened here. Gazprom announced that one arm will also go towards Kosovo and one towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is obvious that Russia is trying here to “hang” with energy this part of Europe. At the same time, much of the story, at what other world powers do not look too favorably, on the Russian influence and energy independence creation”, comments Vukelic.

The fate of gas pipeline arm is not certain still. Before the first brew on the pipe marks the start of construction, Bosnia and Herzegovina must first defray the debt to Russia for gas supplies in the pre-war and wartime. Milorad Dodik says that there are ways to solve it:

“Gazprom wants to resolve this issue too because the commercial debt that BiH should pay, is 105 million dollars. Besides this problem, there is a problem of clearing debt that Russian Federation has in BiH, of which 45 million dollars goes on RS. We seek a variation in which that portion of the debt would be included in part of our participation in the South Stream project. There is no question that is not covered in order to make things cleaner”.

So far they have not shown much interest in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation in participating in the arm construction of South Stream. In the company BH Gas, which is responsible for the gas distribution in the Federation, it was hard these days to hear the views of the South Stream, as there has been a change of leadership.

But previous statements of the development director of BH Gas, Nadzida Ninkovic, show the direction of opinion about it:

“We strive, and we have always given priority in our development projects to those directions that can provide FBiH long-term diversification of transport routes to BiH, and also considering the long term, and the source of supply. For this reason, we preferred pipeline Zenica – Doboj – Bosanski Brod “.

One of those who think that the South Stream does not benefit is the former director of BH Gas, Almir Becarevic:

“Every country wants to have the option of trading. You do not get the possibility to trade with this pipeline, but again you have the same supplier. The most interesting is that all will claim to be the cheaper gas. It is not possible, nor it will be, to get cheaper gas from the South Stream “, said Becarevic.

In opposition in Republika Srpska a little skeptically watch the whole story about the gas pipeline. PDP deputy in the entity National Assembly and a geologist by profession, Aleksandar Golijanin, told for RSE that was difficult to expect profit from gas transport:

“Who will you sell it to? Who will you sell expensive energy to? Will they heat district heating plants, which use heavy fuel oil, which are in huge debts? How? In what way? Maybe they know, but I do not know. The essence is that they want to make here that arm. We will not oppose if that project is justified – especially I think on the financial moment “, says Alexander Golijanin.

Cruxes remain about how much will be the gas price when it starts to pass through Republika Srpska. At the same time it should be also worked on the construction of the gas supply in the towns, through which the pipeline will pass. And it is a slow process. Progress is visible only in Bijeljina.

Finally, it is also expected the official visit of the Russian Gazprom delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, after which it will be known the definitive attitude of Sarajevo about connecting with South Stream.

Source; Serbia Energy See desk/BiH medias

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