Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has officially launched the construction of the Bistrica hydropower plants near the city of Foca, some 80 km southeast of the capital Sarajevo, the state-owned news agency SRNA reported on Tuesday.
The three hydropower plants to be built on the Bistrica River will have a total installed capacity of 39 megawatts and will produce 152 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually.
All three plants are to be connected to the national grid in the next four years.
The contracting company is the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and the total cost of the project is 103 million euros (116.5 million U.S. dollars), according to the SRNA.
Radovan Viskovic, prime minister of Republika Srpska (RS), one of BiH's two entities, attended the ceremony along with the representatives of the Chinese Embassy to BiH and of contracting company AVIC.
"RS aims to be recognized as a regional energy leader," Viskovic said, adding that his country covers 60 percent of its energy need by burning coal and that it aims to rely more on green energy from renewable sources in the future.
Viskovic thanked China and AVIC for their support, adding that he was proud to listen to the anthems of the RS and China and see their flags that represent no threat to anyone but the development and prosperity to all who wish good to BiH.