Environmental concerns increase with decision on lifetime extension of Tuzla 4 and Kakanj 5
On 24 March, the House of Peoples of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina endorsed conclusions to cancel the application of the opt-out regime of the Large Combustion Plants Directive for two power plants, the TPPs Tuzla 4 and Kakanj 5. With the conclusions endorsed by the House of Peoples, the intention is to extend their operation until 2028. In the Secretariat’s opinion, such a unilateral decision is a clear breach of the obligations of Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Energy Community Treaty.
The two plants concerned – approved for opt-out by the Ministerial Council in 2016 – are at the end of their 20,000 hours limit. Operation beyond the 20,000 hours limit has negative impact on the interest of all citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina as air pollution is responsible for severe health and environmental damages, including premature deaths due to respiratory diseases, and also cause extremely high costs that societies have to bear as a whole.
Furthermore, it needs to be recalled that with regard to the planned new lignite-fired power plant in Tuzla financed by a loan of the Chinese Export-Import Bank (TPP Tuzla 7), the Ministerial Council decided last year that the decision of the State Aid Council was in breach of Article 18 of the Energy Community Treaty, as the guarantee was not issued on commercial terms. The country is expected to notify the Secretariat on measures taken to rectify the breach of the Energy Community acquis by 1 July 2022.