Progress in the Podrinje region

Here you will find regular news and updates related to TransConflict’s project, ‘Strengthening Inter-Municipal and Economic Co-operation in the Podrinje Region’.

Serbia and the Republika Srpska sign a memorandum of understanding and co-operation

Tuesday 15th March, 2011Serbia’s foreign minister, Vuk Jeremić, and the Republika Srpska’s minister for economic relations and regional cooperation, Zeljka Cvijanovic, have signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation between their respective ministries.

The agreement will further aid the strengthening of regional co-operation, in particular through exchanges of personnel and assistance in education. The memorandum complements other agreements on co-operation in the spheres of economy, energy, agriculture, sports and culture.

Strengthening the skills and knowledge of municipal officials and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) from municipalities throughout the Podrinje region is a prime objective of TransConflict Serbia’s ‘Strengthening Inter-Municipal and Economic Co-operation in the Podrinje Region’ project, which aims to promote and strengthen various forms of co-operation between Serbia and the Republika Srpska.

………………………………………………………..

Serbia and Italy to construct hydro-electric power plants on the river Drina

Monday 14th February, 2011 - Serbia’s Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) and Italy’s SECI Energia last week signed a protocol on the construction of a €800 million hyro-electric power complex on the river Drina.

The hydro-power plants will have a combined capacity of over 300 MW and will export electricity to Italy. EPS and SECI Energia also have a joint venture to build 10 hydro power plants on the river Ibar in Serbia.

Renewable energy  is a key component of TransConflict Serbia’s ‘Strengthening Inter-Municipal and Economic Co-operation in the Podrinje Region’ project.

………………………………………………………..

Elektroprivreda Srbija and the German Development Bank sign a €70m loan agreement to revatilize Zvornik’s hydroelectric plant

Tuesday 2nd November, 2010 - Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) and the German Development Bank (KfW) have signed a loan agreement to revitalize Zvornik’s hydroelectric power plant on the river Drina.

With construction on the €95m project expected to begin in 2012, the capacity of the plan will increase by 25% from 96 to 120.4 megawatts, with electricity producing increasing from 477m  kilowatt hours to 551m kilowatt hours per year.

In addition, the first unit of the revitalised Bajina Basta hydroelectric plant – which is also funded by a loan from KfW – will soon enter into operation.

Renewable energy  is a key component of TransConflict Serbia’s ‘Strengthening Inter-Municipal and Economic Co-operation in the Podrinje Region’ project.

………………………………………………………..

Trade ministries of Serbia and the Republika Srpska sign a protocol on cooperation

Thursday 28th October, 2010 – Serbia’s minister of trade and services, Slobodan Milosavljevic, and the Republika Srpska’s minister of trade and tourism, Predrag Gluhakovic, have signed a protocol on cooperation, including exchanges of information, mutual cooperation and joint access to third markets.

In addition, the two ministries have agreed to co-operate in the development of new laws in the fields of consumer protection, product safety and the protection of competition.

This new protocol will complement the implementation of TransConflict Serbia’s ‘Strengthening Inter-Municipal and Economic Co-operation in the Podrinje Region’ project.

………………………………………………………..

Serbia and the Republika Srpska to construct another bridge over the river Drina

Monday 27th September, 2010- Serbia’s minister of environment and spatial planning, Oliver Dulic, and the Republika Srpska’s minister of transport and communications, Nedeljko Cubrilovic, have announced plans to construct a bridge, Bacevci-Fakovici, over the river Drina. The project – which is valued at €1.5 million – will be funded by Serbia, with both parties providing financial support to access roads.

The bridge – along with that at Raca and road improvements between Visegrad and Uzice – will help improve economic ties between small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) on either side of the river Drina; a key element of TransConflict Serbia’s ‘Strengthening Inter-Municipal and Economic Co-operation in the Podrinje Region’ project.

………………………………………………………..

Joint construction of hydro-electrical power plants announced on the middle section of the River Drina

Wednesday 22nd September, 2010 - the power utility providers of Serbia, Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), and Republika Srpska, Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (EPRS), have signed an agreement on the preparation of technical documentation necessary for the construction of hydroelectric power plants on the middle section of the River Drina. The estimated value of the investment is €819m, with the power plants being constructed on four or five locations following a feasibility and environmental impact study.

The signing was attended by Italy’s secretary of state for economic development, Stefano Saglia, who re-iterated Italy’s interest in importing electricity from the Balkans in order to meet a pledge by EU member states to provide 20% of their energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.

EPS and EPRS signed a protocol on cooperation in the construction of hydro-electric power plants on the upper reaches of the Drina (in Buk Bijela, Foca, Paunca and Sutjeska), with a total value of €435m. Energy is a key component of TransConflict Serbia’s ‘Strengthening Inter-Municipal and Economic Co-operation in the Podrinje Region’ project.

In addition, Serbia’s deputy prime minister for european integration and minister of science and technological development, Bozidar Djelic, and the Republika Srpska’s minister of science and technology, Bakir Ajanovic, have signed a memorandum on scientific research cooperation.

The respective ministries will develop joint scientific-research projects; facilitate the exchange of researchers, experts and scientific/technological information; the joint use of instruments and equipment; scientific conferences and seminars; the formation of joint research centres and coordinated activities in the field of national and international scientific programs.

………………………………………………………..

New infrastructure paves the way for improved economic co-operation between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia

Tuesday 7th September, 2010 - the opening of a new bridge over the river Sava (near the village of Sremska Raca) by Serbia’s president, Boris Tadić, the prime minister of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, and the President of the Executive Council of Vojvodina, Bojan Pajtic, marks an important step in efforts to improve economic co-operation between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia.

Whilst Serbia provided some €12m from the Capital Investment Fund of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, the Republika Srpska has invested over €1m in adjoining roads. In late-August, Tadić and Dodik opened both the Užice Free Zone, in the city’s local community of Sevojno, and new works on the Serbia-Bosnia and Herzegovina border crossing in Kotroman, near Užice; demonstrating a commitment to infrastructure linking the two.

In an effort to boost tourism between the two countries, an old steam-powered train between Visegrad and Mokra Gora has been re-started. The century-old, narrow-gauge railway line now covers only 42 kilometers, but once linked Belgrade with Sarajevo and Dubrovnik, before being closed in 1974.

Tourism is a key component of the ‘Strengthening Inter-Municipal and Economic Co-operation in the Podrinje Region’ project, which aims to maximise the potential of the river Drina and its surroundings.

………………………………………………………..

Strategic partner sought for construction of hydro-electric power plants on the upper Drina

Thursday 12th August,  2010 - the Republika Srpska is seeking a strategic partner to its power utility, Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (ERS), for the construction of four hydropower plants on the upper Drina, with a total installed capacity of 238 megawatts. The overall investment is estimated to be worth €423m and will account for some 15% of the overall power generation in the Republika Srpska. The hydro-electric power plants to be constructed are Buk Bijela (114.6MW of installed capacity), Foca (51.7MW), Paunci (36.6MW) and Sutjeska (35MW ).

Two companies – Germany’s RWE and Russia’s Inter Rao – have shown the most interest in investing. The Republika Srpska government has announced that it will only negotiate with companies generating over €5b in revenues, and whose equity and consolidated profits total €3b and €400m , respectively, over the past three years.

Serbia’s power-utility, Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), also announced that Serbia will remain a partner of the Republika Srpska in the construction of hydroelectric power stations on the upper Drina. EPS signed a memorandum of understanding with RWE last November on building hydro-electric power plants on the upper Drina, worth some €5b.

………………………………………………………..

Joint agreement on developing the hydro-electric power potential of the Drina river

Tuesday 27th April, 2010 – Serbia’s minister for energy and mining, Petar Skundric, Italy’s minister of economic development, Claudio Scajola, and Republika Srpska’s minister of economy, energy and development, Slobodan Puhalac, yesterday signed a joint agreement on developing the Drina river’s hydro-electric power potential.

The construction of new hydro-electric power plants on the Drina – with capacity of between 380 and 400 megawatts – will ensure that the Podrinje region becomes an important energy resource for Serbia, Republika Srpska and Italy (through a joint energy network via Montenegro).

TransConflict Serbia, in conjunction with the Representational Office of Republika Srpska in Belgrade, is currently implementing a project, entitled Strengthening Inter-Municipal and Economic Co-operation in the Podrinje Region; the aim of which is to promote and facilitate economic and inter-municipal co-operation between Republika Srpska and Serbia by strengthening the skills and knowledge of municipal officials and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) from municipalities throughout the Podrinje region. The project involves 13 municipalities from Serbia and 12 from Republika Srpska, plus the Regional Chambers of Commerce of Bijeljina, Istocno Sarajevo, Sremska, Uzice and Valjevo.

Four business sectors have been identified as areas with significant potential for facilitating economic trade and co-operation between Republika Srpska and Serbia – agriculture, natural resources (particularly hydro-electric power generation on the Drina River), light manufacturing and tourism. TransConflict Serbia is currently undertaking in-depth analysis of questionnaires completed by all the participating municipalities and Chambers of Commerce.

For further information about this project, please contact Ms. Mirjana Kosic (mirjana.kosic@transconflict.com).

Email