Wind Wire: Stumbling block

Bosnian state-owned power utility Elektroprivreda BiH (EPBiH) is confident that differences with partner Vjetroenergetika over their joint project to build the country's first wind farm will soon be resolved.

The partners set up a joint venture called EPBiH-Vink Mostar with plans to start site work on the Podvelezje mountains above Mostar back in the spring.

But Vjetroenergetika, based in Mostar, failed to make a scheduled payment owed to the local community in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton. According to Ramiz Jelovec, president of the canton's assembly: "Vjetroenergetika did not respect the March deadline for fulfilling some obligations from the contract, including a payment of around EUR450,000 to the local community."

The community is now asking investors for a clear answer as to whether the project will go ahead, five years after the site for the plant's construction was agreed. Jelovec adds that other investors are interested in the site. EPBiH's Amer Jerlagi says he sees no need to consider involving other companies, adding he is convinced that "we will resolve the situation so that the project will soon be completed." The cost of the Podvelezje plant is expected to be around EUR55 million.

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