The deal is apparently planned to be reached through a formal bidding process. A media outlet reported the Government of the Republic of Srpska, an autonomous territory in BiH, made the decision about the solar power plant in mid-January.
EFT Group, owned by Vuk Hamović, paved the way for the construction of a photovoltaic facility on 133 hectares in Skrobotno near Bileća in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Capital.ba reported. The project is apparently for 60 MW and the annual output of 84 GWh. The Republic of Srpska, the slightly smaller of the two entities in BiH, greenlighted the plan for the solar power plant.
According to the article, the decision was made at the cabinet meeting in Banja Luka on January 16. There was no mention of the alleged move in the press statement after the session, but the government did start the procedure and declared a special interest for some of its property in the municipality.
The media outlet wrote the initiative came from parent EFT International Investments Holding Ltd., registered in London. The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining was tasked with preparing the ground for the concession in the form of a bidding procedure, the report adds.
The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining was tasked with preparing the ground for the concession in the form of bidding
One of the local firms in the group is EFT Rudnik i termoelektrana Stanari doo. The coal-fueled thermal power plant of 300 MW with a mine was built three years ago by Dongfang Electric Corp. from China. The complex in BiH had BAM 196 million or EUR 100.1 million in 2018, and earnings came in at BAM 40 million.
The group’s principal operating unit is Energy Financing Team AG, incorporated in Switzerland. Holding company EFT Investments Ltd. is in Cyprus and the businesses in BiH are formally under EFT (Holdings) ApS from Denmark.
EFT runs a power trading business and a complex made of a thermal power plant and a coal mine in the Balkan country
Hamović also controls Energy Financing Team doo, which trades in electrical energy. It offers a portfolio in the country that includes renewables and arbitration services. The subsidiary is based in Bileća, the same town in the south of BiH where EFT wants to install a solar power plant. Its turnover in 2018 was BAM 91.2 million, compared to BAM 166,000 in profit.
Of note, the same ministry was targeted by a police investigation in 2017 as one year earlier it exempted concessionaires that own mines and thermal power plants at the same time from a charge for coal utilization. Petar Đokić is still at its helm.
Capital.ba wrote at the time that benefits for EFT were at least BAM 100 million. Furthermore, the general levy was soon slashed to 0.5% from 3.6% for the concessionaires that pay for the use of natural resources, the portal notes.