Electricity

HET delays decision on capital boost for hydropower plant Dabar project

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Photo: ERS

Published

January 24, 2022

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Published:

January 24, 2022

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Shareholders of hydropower producer Hidroelektrane na Trebišnjici (HET) did not adopt a decision at a meeting on Friday on a capital increase for the construction of hydropower plant Dabar. The decision, according to HET CEO Gordan Mišeljić, was postponed in order to define the criteria more clearly and protect small shareholders.

The proposed decision did not pass because state-controlled power utility Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (ERS), the majority owner of HET, abstained from voting at the shareholder meeting. An updated proposal of the capital increase plan is expected to be ready in February at the latest, according to announcements from HET.

An updated proposal of the capital increase plan is expected in February

ERS plans to raise capital for the Dabar project by issuing EUR 218 million worth of shares.

Experts and opposition parties insist that the planned capital injection is in fact a prelude to the privatization of HET, but this has yet again been denied by the company.

HET has again denied allegations that the planned capital injection is a prelude to privatization

HET earlier said that its majority owner, ERS, had already secured funding to buy new shares in order to ensure it retains at least the same stake it already holds, of 65%.

An agreement on the construction of HPP Dabar was signed in 2020 with China Gezhouba Group Co.

China Gezhouba Group Co. signed an agreement in May 2020 to design, build and put in operation HPP Dabar. The deal is worth EUR 222.8 million, of which 85% is to be covered through a loan from Export-Import Bank of China.

HPP Dabar, for its part, should secure a total of EUR 108 million for the project, including the remaining 15% for the agreement with the Chinese contractor, but also the funding needed for the construction of tunnels, expropriation, loan insurance premiums, and the Republic of Srpska government’s guarantees for the loan.

At the end of 2021, ERS also received the entity government’s consent to issue bonds on the Vienna Stock Exchange to raise funds for building HPP Dabar and HPPs on the Bistrica river.

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