The Chinese company “Sinohydro Corporation Limited”, which has been sanctioned by the European Investment Bank (EIB), and is already implementing several projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), is preparing for another investment in that country.
They are under sanctions due to allegations of corruption, as explained by the EIB, and in the BiH entity Republika Srpska (RS), they are preparing for work on the tunnel that would connect the municipalities of Pale and Istocno Novo Sarajevo.
The construction tender has not yet been opened, but the Chinese partner has financed the creation of the main feasibility study. The value of the study is 40 thousand euros, Ljubisa Cosic, the mayor of East Sarajevo, confirmed.
Sanctioned for operations in Morocco, Georgia, and Tanzania
The EIB has excluded “Sinohydro Corporation Limited” for a period of twenty months due to suspicion of corrupt practices in construction works in Morocco, Georgia, and Tanzania.
Namely, “Sinohydro Corporation Limited” was under United States (U.S.) sanctions two years ago due to prohibited business in Iran, and on the “blacklist” of the World Bank and the African Development Bank due to suspicions of corruption, bribery, and fraud around the world.
Despite the sanctions, the authorities in Istocno Sarajevo, which signed a cooperation agreement with the Chinese company, do not see anything objectionable. They say that this company has “incredible references and performs incredible work.”
Through the tunnel through Trebevic to the Belgrade-Sarajevo highway
The tunnel in which the Chinese company “Syinohidro” is interested would pass through the Trebevic mountain near the capital of BiH.
In addition to connecting the two municipalities, the tunnel would be part of the route of the future Sarajevo-Belgrade highway.
The mayor of Istocno Sarajevo says that the tunnel would be built in the place where the railroad used to be.
What is the Chinese company already building in BiH?
“Sinohydro Corporation Limited” is currently engaged in several infrastructural and energy projects in BiH. The company is building in both BiH entities – the Federation of BiH (FBiH) and the RS.
In the RS, the company is building the “Ulog” hydropower plant on the Neretva River, which has led to several protests by the locals due to the pollution of this river in the south of BiH. The Government of the RS has given approval for this project.
In addition to this, the Chinese company is also building a bridge near Pocitelj, in the south of BiH, which recently cracked and the crack has not been repaired to this day, Slobodna Evropa reports.