Elektroprivreda Bosne i Hercegovine (EPBiH) is willing to continue the construction of unit 7 in the Tuzla thermal power plant because the project has no alternative, according to the company’s representatives. The Chinese partners in the EUR 700 million project expressed a similar stance, announcing readiness to finish the project.
The Tuzla 7 coal project, planned as a unit to replace the existing aging units 3, 4, i 5, has been stalled for almost a year after General Electric decided not to supply the equipment. In October last year, GE informed the main contractors, Gezhouba Group and the Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute from China, that it could not supply the boiler, turbine and steam-turbine generator because it was withdrawing from coal-related business.
The Tuzla 7 project was halted by GE’s exit from coal-related operations
The two companies informed EPBiH, which then told the authorities of the Federation of BiH about the situation, but to date no solution has been found. The Chinese companies have also proposed the missing equipment, based on Siemens technology, to be delivered by Shanghai Boiler Works Co. in cooperation with GE and Shanghai Electric Group (SEC). The Chinese have also tried to hire European companies, but most, like GE, are withdrawing from the coal sector.
Andelija: Propose another solution and the company will accept it
EPBiH General Manager Admir Andelija has now told local media that the company has no alternative but to continue building Tuzla 7.
He called on all those who are against the project to find another solution and said the company would accept it.
EPBiH wants to continue the implementation of the construction contract, which it has upheld so far, Andelija said and invited the Chinese partners to continue cooperation.
Chinese contractors hope their alternative proposal to continue construction would be accepted
Izet Žigić, President of the Supervisory Board of EPBiH, told BHRT television the utility doesn’t accept any alteration with regard to the agreed technology. Only the Government of FBiH and the federal parliament can approve changes, he added.
Gezhouba Group and Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute said they understand the importance of the project for the economy and energy security of BiH, just like EPBiH, and that they hope the main equipment would soon be available.
They stressed that they hope EPBiH and the FBiH authorities would accept the alternative proposal so that the construction of unit 7 can start as soon as possible.
We are wasting money at a facility that will be closed in about 15 years – Denis Žiško
Environmental organizations have a completely different view of the situation. Denis Žiško from the Center for Ecology and Energy said it makes no sense to invest millions in a power plant that would be closed in fifteen years, arguing the upcoming CO2 tax would make it unprofitable.
The CO2 tax will make the project unprofitable
Unit 7 would reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, but the problem with large amounts of slag and ash would remain, he said, as quoted by Klix.ba.
EPBiH does not plan to modernize anything, but to continue disposing of slag and ash containing heavy metals, dangerous for the population, according to Žiško.
He proposed to direct investments into renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and smart grids. For example, to secure subsidies for households to install solar panels on their roofs.