Nevesinje Mayor Milenko Avdalović and Marko Škoberne, chairman of the management board of Slovenia-based Ekoteh, have signed an agreement on EUR 1.2 million worth of reconstruction works on the water treatment plant in Nevesinje.
The reconstruction is part of a wider EUR 100 million program to improve drinking water and the sewerage network in Republika Srpska, financed with lending from the European Investment Bank (EIB), EU grants, and bilateral and municipal funds.
A total of 37 local municipalities in the Bosnian Serb entity are covered by the program.
According to Avdalović, the project in Nevesinje will deliver a completely new drinking water plant, built according to the EU standards. The EIB has secured EUR 560,000 and the Republika Srpska government EUR 175,000, while the Nevesinje municipality received a EUR 400,000 grant from the Slovenian Agency for International Cooperation for the project.
Avdalović said that the biggest problems concerning the existing water treatment plant are its low capacity and the fact that it is 30-40 years old.
Nevesinje is supplied with water from the artificial Lake Alagovac. An analysis has shown that the water is not bacteriologically and chemically acceptable, which is the main reason Nevesinje has been preparing this project for years, Avdalović noted.
Only two bids in two tendering procedures
The fact that only two companies, from the former Yugoslav republics, have submitted bids in two separate tendering procedures shows how demanding this project is.
So far, Ekoteh has carried out works on several similar projects in Republika Srpska, as well as projects at the Ugljevik coal-fired power plant and the Bočac hydropower plant, Škoberne said.
While agreeing that the project in Nevesinje is very demanding, he noted that Ekoteh has completed several similar projects worth of EUR 50 million over the past five years.