CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Bosnia utility EPBiH short-lists 3 bidders for coal unit

Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:57am EDT

(Corrects name of Polish company from RAFACO in paragraph 4, deletes reference connecting it to Alstom)

SARAJEVO, June 25 (Reuters) - Bosnia's biggest utility EPBiH has short-listed Japan's Hitachi, a Spanish-led group and a Chinese consortium to build a 450 MW coal-fired unit at its Tuzla plant, it said on Tuesday.

EPBiH chose the three bidders out of 11 international firms and consortia which had applied to build the unit at the Tuzla plant, at an estimated cost of around 1.65 billion Bosnian marka ($1.1 billion), an EPBiH spokeswoman said.

The project will be one of the largest investments in the Balkan country's ageing energy infrastructure, where outdated coal-fired plants face rising consumption.

The Spanish group is led by Cobra, a technology subsidiary of Spanish infrastructure firm ACS, and includes Toshiba, a unit of Hungary's state-owned power company MVM, and Poland's Rafako.

The Chinese consortium includes Gezhouba Group Corp. and Guandong Electric Power Design, EPBiH spokeswoman Midheta Kurspahic told Reuters.

EPBiH, the biggest of Bosnia's three power utilities, operates two coal-fired plants and three hydro power plants with a combined capacity of 1,165 megawatts (MW) and 517 MW, respectively.

The company plans to invest around 390 million marka in 2013 in three hydro plant projects and the modernisation of its coal mines. (1$=1.495 Bosnian marka) (Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Michael Kahn and Jane Merriman)