Prime minister of the Republic of Srpska Radovan Višković has reached the initial agreement on installing three hydropower plants on the Bistrica river with 45 MW in combined capacity. AVIC-ENG – China National Aero-technology International Engineering Corp. accepted the assignment and its chairman Suo Shuhe signed the agreement.
During a working visit to the world’s second-largest economy, Višković said the Bistrica project is worth EUR 100 million. He added the next step is to produce a feasibility study for the hydropower plants and that the responsible bodies would apply for a loan with it. The prime minister revealed the deadlines in the contract for the said phase are from half a year to nine months.
Airport and pipe factory also in play
The two sides agreed that, when works commence, the Chinese giant would begin the construction of a plant which would manufacture pipes in the nearby town of Foča in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s southeast, he said. In Višković’s words, AVIC will cover the feasibility study for the construction of an airport in Trebinje and, if the endeavour is accepted, a joint enterprise founded by both governments would run the transport unit.
He was the head of the delegation which included minister of energy and mining Petar Đokić and the chief executive of state-owned energy utility ERS, registered as Mješoviti holding Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske matično preduzeće a.d. The prime minister of the smaller entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina has also met with the representatives of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd., better known as ICBC.
ICBC floated as possible lender for hydropower units
The government in Banjaluka is waiting for a response from the lender, one of the biggest ones in the world, he asserted and added that the responsible institutions would begin to work on the documentation necessary to obtain the funds for the hydropower plants.
Višković said AVIC would be in full control of pipe manufacturing and that a major part of it would be for the three units. He stated that he suggested to the future partners to also produce pipes for natural gas but also flat glass from the quartz sand in the depozit at Bratunac in the Balkan country’s east. On top of that, he acknowledged that he and other officials proposed to their hosts to launch cooperation between the domestic defense contractors and AVIC’s businesses in the same segment.
China allocated funds for grants for Srpska
The prime minister stressed discussions should be held about the grants prepared by China for BiH and the Republic of Srpska. He said the items in the budget of the most populous country are separated.
Srpska is planning to build facilities Buk Bijela, Foča and Paunci, with a total size of 180 MW, together with Serbia. It inked a memorandum of understanding for the three hydropower plants in 2017 with AVIC.