Bosnia and Herzegovina is failing on its Energy Community obligations by allowing Stanari lignite plant to pollute 2-3 times more than EU standards, reads an official complaint submitted by NGOs Center for Environment from Banja Luka and ClientEarth to the Vienna-based Energy Community Treaty secretariat.
The Energy Community serves as a bridge between the EU and aspiring countries, assisting the latter with implementing EU legislation related to energy and the environment and merging domestic markets with the European energy market.
According to the NGO’s complaint, pollution levels allowed for EFT’s 300 MW Stanari lignite power plant in Republika Srpska in its environmental permit are 2-3 times more than allowed by the EU’s Large Combustion Plants Directive. Energy Community countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina are bound to implement this Directive.
Construction of the 300 MW Stanari power plant by Chinese contractor Dongfang started this year but the project has been under development for many years, and has undergone a capacity reduction from 410 MW to 300 MW and a change of technology which results in an increase of SO2 emissions and significantly lower thermal efficiency, writes Bankwatch.org.
The pollution standards will be further tightened in the Energy Community in 2018, non-compliance even with today’s standards may mean that plants such as Stanari will be illegal by the time they even start to operate, reads the complaint.