First 46 MW set for this year with further potential
1 June 2009
Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to invest up to EUR 1.3 billion over the next seven to nine years to exploit a potential 1000 MW of untapped wind energy. Involving Bosnian companies in the developments would benefit the country's economy, Mehmed Behmen of the Chamber of Commerce's Renewable Energy Sources Section told last month's "Wind Energy Potential in Bosnia and Herzegovina" conference. He estimates that a 30 MW wind farm costs up to EUR 45 million. If 20-30% of the components were provided locally, Bosnia's economy would be boosted by EUR 7.5 million for each project, said Behmen, who pointed to the country's long tradition in metal processing and electrical and mechanical engineering. Elvir Zlomusica, a co-ordinator of the EU's Seewind project to install demonstration wind turbines in southeast Europe, warned that foreign investment has been hampered by the complicated legal framework in Bosnia. More positively, Zlomusica pointed out that after years in problematic planning the country's first wind power plant is to be installed this year in the southern Podvelezje area above the city of Mostar, using Vestas 2 MW units. Vjetroenergetika BiH, a local company founded by Austria's Windkraft Simonsfeld GmbH, will start construction on a 26 turbine, 46 MW wind farm this year with state-owned power utility Elektroprivreda BiH, after a four year approval process, said company manager Zeina Sanjevi-Kusmaul. Seewind, more cumbersomely known as The South Eastern European Wind Energy Project, has a budget of EUR 9.6 million under the EU's 6th Framework Programme for research and development. Ten partners from six European countries are involved in the three year project, which aims to install one pilot wind turbine in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina. It kicked off in May 2007.
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