Published On: Čet, kol 5th, 2021

UNEXPECTED RUSSIAN PLAYERS? Novalic (SDA) and Dzindic (SBB) deceived Americans and now “mine” gas pipeline with Croatia

The Supervisory Board demolished the report on the work of BH-Gas and stopped the capital project.

The federal authorities have promised USAID, which funded the feasibility study, that it will speed up procedures and soon begin construction of a pipeline to the Republic of Croatia, doing everything against the project and leaving the country dependent on Russia’s gas embrace.

Namely, at a recent meeting with the United States Agency for International Development representatives, promises were even made when gas should flow to central Bosnia and Herzegovina.

But the whole deal is now in question. Namely, at the Supervisory Board of BH-Gas, the company that heads this project, held on Monday, the public procurement plan was rejected, which is crucial for the realization of the project.

In this way, the Minister of Energy, Industry and Mining Nermin Džindić (SBB), through his people in the Supervisory Board, directly “mines” the construction of the gas interconnection with Croatia and tries to indirectly settle accounts and try to remove the current director of BH-Gas Jasmin Salkić, who is not to his liking Federal Prime Minister Fadil Novalić.

Only HDZ supported

But his results and ratings within the SDA, however, say otherwise.

Under his leadership, this company doubled its profits last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Creating the preconditions to embark on the most strategically important project for BiH in the previous two decades – gas diversification that would have huge effects on the economy and strategic positioning BiH towards the West.

However, Džindić and Novalić disagree with that.

Precisely because of their moves, Bosnia and Herzegovina remain stuck in Russia’s interests and dependent on Russian gas.

Which players are in the background?


The United States and the EU funded preparatory works on the gas interconnection with Croatia. At the same time, everything is done to prevent it from happening. It is clear who positioned themselves. In the Government of the Federation of BiH, only HDZ BiH voted for the Supervisory Board of BH-Gas report, while ministers from the SDA and the SBB were against it.

Before that, based on intrigues conceived by the relevant ministry and Energoinvest, BiH has wholly switched to gas supply through the Turkish Stream, the consequence of which citizens will feel during the winter when they receive much higher gas and heating bills. Primarily in Sarajevo.

At the same time, the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Industry of the Federation of BiH has not yet submitted the draft Law on Southern Gas Interconnection, which passed the first readings in both houses of the federal Parliament.

If the obstruction of the project continues, neither will the pipeline start construction soon nor will the gas supply from the new pipeline begin in 2024, as predicted.

Apart from Bosnia, this pipeline would play a vital role for Herzegovina, mainly because of the plan to build a particular branch across Posušje and Grude to Široki Brijeg and finally Mostar. Otherwise, according to the project, BiH should be connected to the Croatian route between Posušje and Vrgorac.

Two routes

The route of the main gas pipeline to Bosnia should go northwest towards Tomislavgrad. In that municipality, the gas pipeline should pass through Duvanjsko polje after several settlements and continue further over the mountain Paklina towards Kupres.

The pipeline should go through that municipality in the southern part, cross into ​​the city of Bugojno over the mountain Stožer, and then continue further across the Vrbanja to the Skopje valley south of the Bugojno. The next one is Novi Travnik, which the gas pipeline reaches via Risovac and enters Nević Polje in the southeastern part via Ranković.

The second route of the gas pipeline to Mostar from Posušje goes through the southern part of the municipality and connects Široki Brijeg. The plan is that the path will continue along the border with Grude and descend to Mostarsko Blato via Gornji Mamići and Turčinovići.

Along the southwestern edge of Mostar mud, the route reaches the border between the municipality of Široki Brijeg and the City of Mostar. The main gas pipeline, for which money has been secured, should end in Gornja Jasenica, a settlement south of Mostar, and open up prospects for the economy and households. •

Zoran Krešić l Večernji list
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