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30 Nov 2021

Wawa Wang and Nils Resare, The Diplomat

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Chinese companies reportedly continue to fund coal power plants, despite China's pledge to stop coal financing; incl. company response

"Despite Xi’s Pledge, China Is Financing Coal Power Plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina", 30 November 2021

[...] Ugljevik is not the only European town in which new power plants are planned, despite international commitments to stop climate change and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent pledge to stop financing coal power abroad. In Bosnia and Herzegovina alone, China’s Eximbank is financing the Tuzla 7 coal-fired power project, whose construction is imminent despite investigations by EU’s energy watchdog for breaches of EU law.

Our research further shows that there is a major risk of Chinese-financed power plants being built in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Serbia. All these projects were announced by Chinese state-owned enterprises in 2021, and have a total estimated capacity of over 3,645 MW. Chinese-backed overseas coal projects with an additional 10 GW of capacity are already in the pipeline and are likely to begin construction any moment. [...]

This is also the case with Ugljevik III. In June 2021, it was revealed that a secret contract was signed for the plant between Chinese company China Electric and Polish-Chinese enterprise Sunningwell International LTD. Prior to this, it was not publicly known that either company was participating in the project.

This secret contract prompted environmental organizations to express concerns and call on the Republika Srpska government to “publicly and transparently declare the plans and consequences of this power project.”

An analysis from Just Finance shows that the feasibility studies and environmental impact assessments for Ugljevik III and Tuzla 7 contain serious errors and false assumptions that undermine legal requirements, transparency, and the procedures for acquiring environmental permits. [...]

Part of the following timelines

China's commitment to phase out overseas coal investment

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Chinese companies reportedly continue to fund coal projects despite pledge to stop coal financing

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Tuzla 7 lignite plant