DRVAR The councilors are turning to the warmth of the solar panels

Although the Municipal Council in Drvar has just a couple of days ago adopted the decision on construction of solar and wind power plants on the municipal land, the company “TLG” from Travnik has known long since that they were the ones to invest into energy generating facilities at the offered locations.

Written by: Miljan Kovač

It does not come as a surprise when it is known that the municipal authorities have passed and aligned this decision with the desires and demands of the company.

Although the public call to lease the locations in question has yet to be published, the investors from Travnik have been “preparing the ground” for the future investments at least since 2021. The only obstacle on their path was the majority of 9 municipal councilors, who twice refused to give consent without which realization of the planned investment wouldn’t be possible.

However, that too has been solved. There was a change in the power balance at the local parliament after councilor Nemanja Dragaš changed his opinion under inexplicable circumstances. In order for the new majority to be formed without any problems, converted Dragaš came all the way from far Russia where he had moved just few months ago. The newly formed majority, led by SNSD, has thus cleared the road for the solar panel investors. Neither citizens nor experts were asked for an opinion.

Nine for investor

The Municipal Council of Drvar had at a session held on November 13, 2023 adopted a decision on the methods and conditions for establishing building rights on land owned by the municipality of Drvar, for the purpose of building individual wind turbines and solar power plants. The decision stipulates that the land at five locations with a total area of approximately 500 ha will be leased through a public call for the construction of wind turbines and solar panels.

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Although it was stated that the lease price will be determined based on an expert’s assessment for each individual plot, Mayor Dušica Runić “already knows”, and announcing at the municipal council session that the initial price will be 0.10 pfenning per square meter.

It is all indicative of the mayor knowing who will apply to the public call and ultimately build the solar power plant, especially since she had passed a decision in September to lease office space owned by the municipality to the company “TLG” from Travnik for a symbolic price of 0,36 pfenning per square meter. As confirmed by Andrea Bosančić, mayor’s chief of staff, the contract was concluded on September 29, 2023. A total of 468 square meters of office space was leased for the price of BAM 164,48.

This office space has been used to launch development and production of substructure for solar panels for the needs of this company as it was confirmed to us by the owner and director of “TLG” himself.

The public call to lease this office space was published in September on the bulletin board of the municipality, so not many people could have seen it. Anyhow, even in that case TLG would hardly have any competition since the public call was published at the initiative of this company, which was confirmed by the municipal administration.

Director of the company “TLG” Zoran Vujinović isn’t hiding the fact that the municipality was working to their wishes.

“We are already present in Dvar and have done elaborations for Drvar based on which these decisions were passed. So we have done the job for Drvar municipality; they have a positive atmosphere. We try to do everything we can…there are 350 MW of solar power plants designed already,” confirmed Vujinović to Impuls.

ZVujinovic Aktaba

Zoran Vujinović/ foto: Akta.ba

He confirmed that it is not about one power plant, but that several power plants will be built, and their designed capacity is 350 MW. During the recent practice of solar power plants’ construction in Bosnia and Herzegovina we have witnessed that big projects were “broken down” to several smaller power plants in order to avoid paying of concessions, but it remains to be seen if it will happen in this case as well. It is quite curious that the municipality decided to lease exactly 500 ha of the land, which is the land size precisely necessary for the project with accompanying facilities that “TLG” is planning.

Crumbs for Drvar

It is a complete nonsense that the investors in solar power plants and wind turbines in Drvar were given conditions that they didn’t get in any other municipality. Instead of municipality collecting revenues through a percentage from the investment, i.e. from produced energy, in Drvar they decided that the municipality’s profit will be the rent for the municipal land.

Municipal mayor Runić provided explanation for a such “calculation” in the decision rationale.

“The municipality of Drvar will, immediately after the conclusion of the contract, start receiving rental income, while other municipalities have drawn up their decisions in such a way that their income will be a percentage of the investment and they haven’t defined a deadline when it can be started”.

The opposition claims that all of this hides mayor’s intention to get the money in any way possible, since the municipality, as well as the municipal enterprises and institutions, is in a deep financial deficit, and haven’t been even paying salaries to the employees for months already.

They call this an absurd, having in mind that the neighboring Serbia has provided around BAM 8 million of assistance to Drvar over the past couple of years. Regardless of that, not a single important project has been implemented in Drvar using these funds nor were numerous financial problems solved, so the mayor has initiated taking on a loan in the amount of about BAM 1.5 million, which so far hasn’t been approved by the councilors. However, the loan is still an option as it could be heard during adoption of the decision on construction of solar power plants and wind turbines.

The conclusions drawn from the discussion led by the councilors, who stood firm with the decision on construction of solar power plants, is that the goal is to get any funds as soon as possible, but also to find an opportunity to take on new loans.

“We are discussing a loan that needs to be paid, how we are going to pay it….we will pay it from this”, said councilor Milan Balaban, expressing satisfaction with the decision.

While the solar energy is keeping them warm

Selmo Cikotić, the former Minister of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the company Bičakčić and the company “EIB International” from Banjaluka were registered as founders of Zorana Vujinović’s company until 2020.

Now, the only owner in the register is Vujinović, who told us that he paid the partners their shares in the company and that they “have taken another road”.

Cikoticreg

However, the fact is that all three of Vujinović’s partners are still engaged in the same business, but through a new company that they have founded. This is the company “Čardakov” d.o.o. from Travnik, which intends to build wind mills in Vlašić. Just a few days ago, the Federation Ministry of the Environment and Tourism reviewed the request of the investor “Vjetroelektrane Čardakov” d.o.o. Travnik, for the construction project of the Vlašić wind park, with an installed power of up to 50 MW in the municipality of Travnik.

It is interesting that the concession for this project was previously held by a company that is now Vujinović’s, “TLG” d.o.o. The concession was transferred to “Čardakov”, although Vujinović claims that “TLG” is no longer associated with them.

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