What was expected for years, to abandon the construction project of Unit 7 of the Tuzla Thermal Power Plant (TPP) with Chinese partners, happened when the Board of Directors of ‘Elektroprivreda Bosnia and Herzegovina’ (EPBiH) refused to change the contract. Now, legal teams will be hired to find a model for exiting the project. The miners are afraid that they will feel the consequences the most and so they tell the authorities that they will not watch it calmly.
The Board of Directors of EPBiH gave instructions to the management to hire an international legal team which, in cooperation with the EPBiH legal team, would analyze the contract on the construction of Unit 7 of the Tuzla TPP and propose to the Federal Government, Parliament, and EPBiH the steps to be taken.
”The summary of the complete conclusions reached by EPBiH according to the relevant ministry and the Government of the Federation is to reject the alternative subcontractor and to offer option one to the signatory of the contract, to return to the initial settings and to continue the implementation of the contract, as it was started in 2014,” said the Federation of BiH (FBiH) Minister of Energy, Mining, and Industry Nermin Djindic.
A direct consequence of the abandonment of Unit 7 of the Tuzla TPP is the loss of jobs in the mines in the Federation, according to miners’ representatives. Mines are already facing a mass exodus of miners. From January to June, 145 miners left the Kreka mine, and another 70 miners are expected to leave by the end of the year. The miners’ unions are warning the authorities that they will not calmly watch the burden of the energy transition fall on the backs of the miners.
Energy experts believe that the expert community, as well as all political actors in the country, should offer an answer to this major question. What to do after abandoning the construction of Block 7 of TPP Tuzla, will probably be the question that will dominate this year’s election campaign, and this is where, according to Professor Mirza Kusljugic from the Center for Sustainable Energy Transition, the responsibility of those responsible for the failure of the project will be sought.
As it was emphasized at last week’s Energy Forum in Sarajevo, the process of energy transition from fossil to renewable energy sources should be started as soon as possible, so that the state can derive benefits from this process. However, the experience with the construction of Block 7 of the Tuzla TPP, as well as with other projects, teaches us that we can expect complications and delays in these projects.