Serbia: Energy FDI projects and business legal environment

9. September 2015. / News Serbia Energy

Attracting investments in the ​​energy sector; The goal: increasing the energy independence through the gas interconnection with Bulgaria.

In order to revive the Serbian energy sector, Serbia needs to issue as much as 70 energy licenses to investors to operate in the future. The largest projects, which will partially finance the Europe, are gas interconnections with Bulgaria, lines in the region, as well as thermal power plants Kostolac B3, for which the funds come from the Chinese loan. The main idea is to reduce the energy import through the investments, which Serbia does not have- oil and gas.

Mission of the European Energy Community in our country is to attract investment and market integration in the Western Balkans towards the European Union, says in this institution.

– The aim of the Energy Community is to allow cooperation between the suppliers of energy recourses in the Western Balkans – says Simon Uzunov, a representative of European Energy Community. – The Western Balkans is a small market affected by the economic crisis, and major energy producers have a monopoly, and each Government has its priorities in the energy sector. Therefore, it is essential to issue energy permits to potential investors, where Serbia leads because it is necessary to issue 70 licenses.

Such a large number of permits for operation in the energy sector also show that numerous projects await Serbia in the next two to three years.

– The energy sector in our country should be developed through a reduction of dependence on coal, on which Europe insists – explains Nicholas Rajakovic, Professor of Electrical Engineering in Belgrade. – As part of the deal, Serbia has many obligations, with the reduction of emissions. There is also even more effective tendency for us of reduction dependence on energy sources that we have to import, such as oil and gas.

The first project done on paper, which searches implementation, is the construction and collecting money for the gas interconnection Nis – Sofia, by which will connect the route to Bulgaria. There are two transmission lines, which should increase the energy power and connect regional electricity market. It is a transmission line Pancevo – Romania and routes into Bosnia and Montenegro. All these tasks will also require a large number of permits, so it is essential to speed up the paperwork.

On the energy permit actually most are waiting – the miners. The calculation of the National Alliance for Local Economic Development says that in Serbia in 2013th there were 135 active licenses for exploration, and investors invested 300 million dollars for ten years. If three percent of permits for research were converted into a use permit for mining, there could be opened five new mines.

Wind still awaits the law

While waiting Serbia to earn of investments in mines and thermal power plants, Serbia is unlikely to meet the EU requirements for capacity expansion of renewable energy sources.

Interested investors who want to build wind farms in Serbia do not have problems with energy licenses, most of them already got them because it is a condition for obtaining a building permit – explains Ana Brnabic the Serbian Wind Energy Association. – The problem we have are state guarantees that the electricity will be bought.

HPPs, private capital in the water

Although it was announced that they would build more than 300 small hydropower plants in Serbia, for which there was a public call for investors, none of power plants on the water came to life for three years. The problem is, among other things, permit. At the same time the municipalities, but also “Srbijavode” approve them. So investors who want to build hydropower plants lose the six-month permit until get the paperwork! , transmits Serbia-energy.eu

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