Tuesday, September 2, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 2,2008) - At least 10 companies have applied to buy 1.6 billion kilowatt-hours of surplus electricity from Bosnia's largest power utility, a top company top official said today.

The state-owned Elektroprivreda BiH (EPBiH) expects to earn at least 135 million Euros ($196 million) from the sale of its electricity surplus in 2009, said General Manager Amer Jerlagic.

"So far between 10 and 20 utilities and power trading firms have bought the tender documentation and the final number of bidders will be known on Sept. 8 when the tender closes," Jerlagic said.

The Sarajevo-based utility is selling off its power surplus for the first time in five years because a deal compensating for an investment into a Bosnian thermo-power plant with electricity expires this year.

"Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, as well as Greece and Italy have expressed interest, among others," Jerlagic said.

Bosnia and Bulgaria are the only electricity exporters in southeastern Europe while other countries remain dependant on imports, with power shortages ranging from 30 to 50 percent.

About half of Bosnian power is generated in hydro-power plants, with the remainder coming from thermo-power plants.

Jerlagic said that EPBiH also plans to sell another 300 GWh of electricity next year on a short-term basis through an international tender, a move expected to generate 27 million euros in revenues.

EPBiH plans an output of 6,700 GWh in 2008, Jerlagic said. Its revenues in the first half of the year amounted to 419 million Bosnian Marks ($315.7 million) and it posted a net profit of 22.6 million Bosnian Marks.

"For the first time we made a profit of 8 million Bosnian Marks from the core business due to the good exports," he said.

Last year, the utility signed deals worth 54 million euros to sell 725 GWh of surplus electricity in 2008 to Swiss-based power utility Atel and Energy Financing Team (EFT) at 75 euros per megawatt hour. The quantity accounted for up to 60 percent of EPBiH's expected surplus this year.
Jerlagic said that EPBiH has considered establishing a sister company either in Croatia or Slovenia to be in charge of trade at a new regional power exchange due to start operating in Slovenia in October.

"We may also form a joint venture for this business with some international companies," he added.

Jerlagic said his firm plans to invest part of its profit into the renewable energy sector. He said that Bosnia, alongside Croatia, has the largest wind power capacity in the region, estimated at between 1,000 and 1,200 megawatts.

"We are interested in investing 35 million euros into a 30-megawatt wind park in the southern Herzegovina region, as well as in several small hydro-power plants," he said.

But Jerlagic warned that in a decade Bosnia could face power shortages if the authorities continue to delay the adoption of a state-wide energy sector development strategy.

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