The government of Republika Srpska, an entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), has awarded concessions to its power utility Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (ERS) to build and operate the Foča and Paunci hydropower plants (HPP). Republika Srpska and Serbia plan to jointly build the two HPPs with a combined installed capacity of between 90 MW and 95 MW, in an investment estimated at some EUR 200 million.
The Republika Srpska (RS) government adopted a decision to award a concession to build and operate HPP Foča and a decision giving its consent to the agreement on the concession to build and operate HPP Foča, as well as a decision to award a concession to build and operate HPP Paunci and a decision giving its consent to the agreement on the concession to build and operate HPP Paunci, according to a statement from the government.
Both concessions are being awarded to ERS for a period of 50 years, starting from the date of signing the concession agreement. Prior to the signing of the concession agreement, the concessionaire is required to pay a one-off fee of BAM 1.16 million (about EUR 594,000) for HPP Foča and BAM 1.23 million (around EUR 629,000) for HPP Paunci to the RS budget.
Presidency of BiH Chairman Milorad Dodik said earlier that BiH’s consent will not be required for the construction of HPPs Foča and Paunci because that section of the Drina river merely runs through Republika Srpska, without forming the border between BiH and Serbia, Blic reported, citing Srna.
Power utilities ERS, EPS planned to jointly develop HPPs Foča, Paunci
At the signing of a memorandum on the joint construction of HPPs Foča and Paunci between the governments of the RS and Serbia, Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antić said that the memorandum envisages ERS and Serbia’s state power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) to jointly develop the project on the upper course of the Drina river.
HPP Foča is planned to have an installed capacity of 44.15 MW and an average annual production of 175.9 GWh of electricity and HPP Paunci an installed capacity of 43.21 MW and an average annual output of 166.9 GWh.
Republika Srpska also plans the construction of HPP Buk Bijela, with an installed capacity of 93 MW, on the upper course of the Drina. ERS has received a 50-year concession for this project as well.
At the end of July 2018, the Aarhus Resource Centre Sarajevo submitted two complaints to the District Court in Banja Luka against the environmental permits for HPPs Buk Bijela and Foča.