China’s Loan for Bosnia Coal Plant Worries EU

Racing to secure energy production beyond 2027, Bosnia’s mainly Bosniak and Croat Federation entity has agreed to guarantee a loan of more than 600 million euros from China to construct a new coal-fired power unit. But the project faces growing criticism at home and abroad.

The Federation parliament approved the guarantee earlier this month, moving ahead with a project that will cost 870 million euros in total, making it the single largest investment in Bosnia since the 1992-95 war.

But the European Union is far from happy, and nor are environmentalists in Bosnia. They say the plan does nothing to help clean up the heavily polluted air in the country.

On March 27, the EU Energy Community Secretariat announced that it was opening a dispute settlement procedure on Bosnia’s planned guarantee for a 614 million euro loan from the China Exim bank to build the Tuzla 7 coal power plant.

The Energy Community said it had sent an Opening Letter to Bosnia noting concerns about the public guarantee of the Exim Bank of China loan, adding that it had repeatedly voiced similar concerns in the past.

On March 6, European Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said the deal raised serious questions about Bosnia’s “commitment to international treaties and European rules” under a treaty – the Energy Community Treaty – to bring the energy policies of eight aspiring member states into line with the EUs own.

source: Balkan Insight