Media: Serbian President bought all coal mined in BiH in advance

NEWS 20.07.2022 21:16
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BiH citizens have not been able to buy coal for heating for almost three months, because all the mines are blocked due to a huge order from Serbia, which bought everything that is mined in advance. For this reason, nobody knows when it will be their turn and whether there will be coal for the coming winter, the local Capital.ba portal wrote.

Accotding to Capital. The Brown Coal Mine in Banovici has not transported a single truck load to local buyers for over 20 days.

“For over 20 days, we haven't sold anything to the citizens and it’s not known when we’ll start. At least 150 trucks have been waiting to be loaded for a month or two, and we can't get our turn. Serbia has a large order, we heard that it is two million tons, but I don't know if that’s true, and that they are stockpiling coal because of the energy crisis. Our citizens are calling and asking, but we have no answers and we don't know when it will be our turn. Even the mine workers who took the coal in lieu of vacation pay cannot get it,” said one of the drivers working for the coal mine.

Alija Salkic, the Technical Director of the “Breza” coal mine confirmed that many citizens were placed on hold because of the order from Serbia. He also revealed that the price of coal has risen by 20 percent compared to the previous year and that they are now charging up to 220 Bosnia marks per ton.

In addition, he said, many citizens change their way of heating and switch from pellets and gas to coal.

“The demand for coal has increased in BiH by at least four times this year due to the panic over the procurement of energy products. Serbia seems to be having issues in getting coal. They are our customers from before, but now they’re buying much more than before. We have good cooperation, but we can’t deliver as much as they ask. I don't know exactly how much they ordered, but they said they would buy the entire production we have,” he said.

Salkic explained that the mine is owned by the thermal power plant Tuzla and that it delivers about 400,000 tons per year to it, which is their primary obligation, while everything beyond that, they sell on the free market.

“Customers from Serbia told us this year that they would buy twice as much from us as we give to the TPP Tuzla. However, we will not harm our citizens, I hope that everyone will get coal,” he said.

The sale of coal to Serbia has increased twofold, but that is only the tip of the iceberg because President Aleksandar Vucic said that they need as much as four million tons.

It is now clear that coal, as well as wood, have become strategic raw materials in Bosnia over which buyers from abroad are going to fight, threatening the domestic production, as well as the citizens directly.

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