The two entities that make up Bosnia and Herzegovina agreed the country should build gas interconnections with both Serbia and Croatia, according to Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Staša Košarac.
BiH’s central government, the Council of Ministers, is expected to soon discuss the proposition to build the eastern and southern gas interconnection, according to Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Staša Košarac. It would mean a breakthrough after a gridlock that lasted for years between the country’s two entities – the Federation of BiH and Republic of Srpska.
Košarac said his ministry has launched an initiative to sign international deals on the interconnections with Serbia, BiH’s eastern neighbor, and Croatia, from which gas would come from the south border. The projects have strategic importance for long-term energy stability, he added, as quoted by Srna news agency.
FBiH’s interconnection project with Croatia is estimated at EUR 100 million
FBiH is developing the southern interconnection project in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It is worth an estimated EUR 100 million.
The gas pipeline is planned to run from Zagvozd and Imotski in Croatia, through Posušje at BiH’s side of the border to Novi Travnik in the country’s central part. It would be 180 kilometers long and include a section to Mostar.
The Republic of Srpska is planning a gas pipeline from Bijeljina, at BiH’s northeastern border with Serbia, through its capital city of Banja Luka to Novi Grad at the northwestern border with Croatia.
The two interconnection projects now require just formal approvals from the Government of FBiH
The Government of FBiH just needs to formally issue approvals for the two projects to be continued, Minister Košarac pointed out. The Serb Member of the Presidency of BiH Milorad Dodik has secured the lowest gas price in Europe from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, he added.
The Republic of Srpska and Croatia have recently built a gas pipeline between the border towns of Bosanski Brod and Slavonski Brod, respectively. BiH’s central government was opposed to the project as it wasn’t consulted. The country already has an interconnection with Serbia in Zvornik.