EBRD to fund Southern Gas Interconnection BiH-Croatia

EBRD to fund Southern Gas Interconnection BiH-Croatia

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s gas supply company, BH-Gas, signed today a Grant Agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a consultancy contract for the development of an environmental impact and feasibility study with the Consortium led by “Dvokut-Ecro”, a consulting company providing environmental and nature protection services.

This represents another step towards the implementation of the Southern Gas Interconnection between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, which is a project of strategic regional importance.

The signing was staged at the BH-Gas Directorate in Sarajevo at a ceremony attended by USAID Program Director Kent Larson. The US Agency for International Development supported the project with a USD 500,000 grant.

Manuela Naessl, EBRD Director in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “I am very pleased that BH-Gas, EBRD, EU and USAID are collaborating on this important project. Diversification of energy supply is crucial for energy security, and planned interconnection can play a role. The diversity of potential supporters who are here today illustrates the high level of attention we are receiving. Although we look forward to the results of the new assessments, we also hope that in the meantime a new Gas Law will be passed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will move this sector further towards compliance with the EU’s third energy package”.

Jasmin Salkić, Director of BH-Gas, emphasized the importance of Southern Gas Interconnection of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, which was also confirmed by the decision of the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina on proclaiming the strategic importance of the project. Also, Salkić emphasized that implementation and interconnection of the transport systems of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH-Gas) and Croatia (Plinacro) will enable integration with the European natural gas market, diversification of both routes and sources of supply (LNG Krk, Caspian region / Ionian- Adriatic gas pipeline, European hubs for gas trade). This creates conditions for long-term, safe and reliable supply of all natural gas consumers in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Environmental and social impact assessment for the Southern Gas Interconnection project between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia (Posušje – Novi Travnik gas pipeline with Mostar branch) will be prepared in accordance with the EBRD’s environmental and social policies, as well as local legislation requirements. Using the international tender procedure in accordance with the EBRD’s policies and rules for the selection of consultants, the contract was awarded to the Consortium running the “Double-Ecro”. The total value of the signed contract will be financed from the stated amount of the secured grant.

The public has already been informed that the conceptual design of the pipeline has begun in August 2019. The concept design is funded by a grant from the European Union through Connecta Technical Assistance. The design of the main route with geodetic survey and geotechnical survey works has also been completed.

The 160 km long Southern Interconnection Project of Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the largest line infrastructure projects currently underway. The complexity of the project is also reflected in the fact that it spatially covers four cantons, which requires the active participation and support of local communities at each stage of implementation.

“The feasibility study, financial sustainability analysis and cost-benefit analysis were previously funded by a European Union grant through the Western Balkans and Connecta Technical Assistance Investment Framework in 2013 and 2018 in retrospect. Completion of project documentation is planned for the end of 2020 and the result will be obtaining an environmental permit and urban approval for the project”, BH-Gas said./ibna