Alpiq apply to ElektroPrivreda BiH tender
SARAJEVO, June 24 (Reuters
) - Swiss energy firm Alpiq (ALPH.S) has expressed interest in building a new 450 MW block
at Bosnia's coal-fired power plant, which is needed to help meet future demand, Bosnia's top utility said on Thursday.
Elektroprivreda BiH (EPBiH) in March invited investors to apply for the project, worth an estimated 840 million euros ($1.1 billion)
including construction, management and use of the power unit located in the northern town of Tuzla.
"Though many utilities contacted EPBIH about the project, Alpiq sent a formal offer, and it was evaluated as valid," EPBiH General Manager Amer Jerlagic told Reuters by telephone, adding that EPBiH would in coming days send tender documentation to its potential Swiss partner.
The Tuzla plant has six units with an installed capacity of 715 MW and an annual output of 3,100 gigawatt-hours. It was built in 1978 and urgently needs upgrades to boost output and meet European Union environmental standards.
The project is part of a proposed 10 billion Bosnian marka ($6.3 billion) energy plan
from the Bosniak-Croat federation, one of the Balkan country's autonomous halves and home to EPBiH, which is owned 90 percent by the state.
The plan marks the biggest potential investment in the energy sector and would help the region avert outages predicted for coming years, stemming from expected overhauls of major thermal power plants.
For the new block at Tuzla, the federation may retain ownership and repay the strategic partner in power, Jerlagic said. The two sides also could form a joint venture.
"We will soon see what Alpiq's conditions are," Jerlagic said.
EPBiH operates two coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 1,165 MW and output of 6,661 gigawatt-hours and planned upgrades will boost their capacity to 1,500 MW by 2018. It also runs three hydropower plants.
Bosnia gets 40 percent of its electricity from hydropower plants and the rest from coal-fired plants. Unlike other nations in the region, which rely on imports to cover much of their consumption, Bosnia is able to export power due in part to its hydro power potential. ($1=.7453 Euro) ($1=1.59 Bosnian marka) (Reporting by Maja Zuvela; Editing by Michael Kahn and Jane Baird)