Oil Report

RWE ready to invest over 1 billion euros in Bosnia

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia, Dec 2 (Reuters) - German utilities group RWE AG RWEG.DE expressed interest on Tuesday to invest over one billion euros in the energy sector in Bosnia's Serb region.

The RWE management and the Serb republic government discussed the possibilities of cooperation in the construction of thermo and hydro-power plants in the region, which makes up Bosnia along with the Muslim-Croat federation.

RWE has estimated that some 2,000 MW of electricity could be produced through the construction of hydro-power plants on the rivers of Drina and Trebisnjica in the east and on the river Vrbas in the west of the region.

“We see the Serb republic as the growing market in the future and we want to contribute to the development and building of infrastructure, especially in domain of power supplies,” Gerd Jaeger, a member of the RWE Executive Board, said in Banja Luka.

Jaeger said that his company could kick off with the construction of hydro-power plants in 2009.

Serb republic Energy Minister Slobodan Puhalac said the cooperation with RWE would be in the form of public-private partnership because the region did not want to privatise its energy sector.

General Manager of the state-owned Elektroprivreda RS power company, Branislava Milekic, said RWE had been recognised as the company’s strategic partner in the construction of new energy plants and distribution of power.

The two parties said they would continue talks on the cooperation and concrete projects. (Reporting by Olja Stanic, writing by Daria Sito-Sucic; editing by James Jukwey)