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Thermal Power Plant Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Thermal Power Plant (TPP) Tuzla was constructed in several stages in the period between 1959 and 1978. The coal (lignite and brown) is supplied to the TPP from the nearby Kreka-Banovic coal basin. Besides the generation of electricity, the plant produces thermal energy for district heating of the towns Tuzla and Lukovac, and according to the plant website it also provides industrial water and steam for industry.

In the last decade the citizens of Tuzla started protests against the TTP, pointing out significant levels of air pollution. In 2013 the Municipality of Tuzla brought a legal action for polluting against Elektroprivreda BiH d.d. Sarajevo (EPBiH). The court decision obliged TPP Tuzla to pay 6 million Bosnian Convertible Marks (BAM) (around 4,2 million USD) of compensation for contamination. Additionally, EPBiH and Tuzla Municipality signed the contract of 'friendly environment'. In line with the contract, citizens asked to invest the compensation in the building of recreational and cultural facilities, expansion of the district heating supply system, further improvement on general infrastructure in the city, and certain number of kilowatt-hours of electricity and hours of central heating produced by TTP for free. EPBiH claims to have realized 5 out of 7 project planned by the contract.

In February 2013, the TPP promoted its revitalized Block unit 6 which was upgraded in the project “Electrical Filters Replacement and Upgrading the Ash Transport Systems”. The project was carried out by a consortium of partners including Polish Company RAFAKO SA and DELING Company from Tuzla responsible for replacement of filters, while Energoinvest d.d Sarajevo participated in upgrading of the ash transport systems. In this way, the working life of the TPP was prolonged for 15 years and the emission of pollution particles should be reduced. In the same year, EPBiH announced construction of Block unit 7 of THH, with power of 450 MW and annual production of 2,756 GWh. The citizens’ initiative demand an explanation of the plans of Block unit 7 construction, particularly regarding the Environmental Impact Assessment Study. EPBiH is currently working on selection of the financial partner, design of the preparatory work, and provision of consent. The project already counts with environmental permits by the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism, and town planing approval by the Federal Ministry of Special Planning. Although Block 7 is planned as a replacement for existing units, those are not compliant with the Large Combustion Plants Directive or Industrial Emissions Directive, and have lifespan until 2027. Therefore the Block 7 would result in use of additional coal capacity. In 2014, EPBiH signed the contract with Chinese construction company Gezhouba. In May 2016 an annex to the contract was signed, which lowered the cost of Block 7 construction. The investments for this project will be provided by the Export-Import Bank of China through loan. In April 2016, representatives of the city of Tuzla local community Šićki Brod handed over a petition with 2100 signatures to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Bosnia and Herzegovina against the plans of construction of slag dump-site from new Block 7 in their neighborhood, which was not covered by the project’s original environmental permit. 

Basic Data

Name of conflict: Thermal Power Plant Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Country:Bosnia and Herzegovina
State or province:The Tuzla Canton
Location of conflict:Tuzla
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Coal extraction and processing
Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Electricity

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Installed capacity of active blocks = 715 MW

Installed capacity of Block 6 = 215 MW

Planned installed capacity of Block 7 = 450 MW

Average annual generation of electricity = around 3,100 GWh

Annual coal consumption = about 4 million tonnes of coal resulting in 53,000 tonnes of toxic hydrogen sulfide.

TPP Tuzla employs 400 people, while 4,500 work in the mines in the Tuzla area.

Level of Investment:808,000,000
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:100,000
Start of the conflict:2013
Company names or state enterprises:Elektroprivreda BiH d.d. Sarajevo - TPP Tuzla owner
RAFAKO S.A. from Poland - Polish company, responsible for replacement of filters on TPP Tuzla Block unit 6
DELING Tuzla from Bosnia and Herzegovina - Bosnian company from Tuzla, responsible for replacement of filters on TPP Tuzla Block unit 6
Energoinvest d.d Sarajevo from Bosnia and Herzegovina - Bosnian company, responsible for upgrading of the ash transport systems on Block unit 6 of TTP Tuzla
China Gezhouba Group Co. LTD (CGGC) from China - Contracted as constructor of TPP Tuzla Blok 7
Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute (GEDI) from China - Contracted as constructor of TPP Tuzla Blok 7
Relevant government actors:Municipality of Zenica, Three authorities of Tuzla District: Šićki Brod, Bukinja, Husina; the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism of B&H; the Federal Ministry of Special Planning of B&H.
International and Finance InstitutionsThe Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) from China - Investor (85% of investment provided through loan)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:CS Front; CS Centar za ekologiju i energiju Tuzle; Group of representatives of formal and informal citizens’ groups and experts “Grupu za čist zrak” (Group for clean air); Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL); Czech NGO "Arnika"; Association for the Protection of Nature "Ekotim"

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Industrial workers
Informal workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Soil contamination, Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Other Environmental impactsLethal concentrations of arsenic, mercury and cadmium. High emissions of NOx, SO2 and PM2.5.
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Deaths
Other Health impactsRespiratory diseases, cancers and cardiovascular diseases. An estimated loss of life expectancy per person of 3.2 years. The existing power plant in Tuzla is linked with to 4,918 ‘years of life lost’ across Europe each year. In the future new and improved blocks of TTP are estimated to be associated with 310 years of life lost annually.
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place, Displacement, Land dispossession, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Other socio-economic impactsLocal agricultural land was declared by the government to be used for disposal slag from the TPP.


Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New legislation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Withdrawal of company/investment
Development of alternatives:The citizens of Tuzla demanded financial compensation for contamination, as well as more employments in TPP so they could have some economic benefits. Furthermore, the citizens demanded spending compensation money on improving the living conditions in Tuzla Municipality by investing in recreational and cultural facilities, expansion of the district heating supply system, and general improvement on city infrastructure. The plans for building TPP Block 7 are contrary to the citizens and NGO demands to switch to renewable sources in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The experts found that related health costs make energy production from coal economically not viable and more expensive than investments in alternative energy sources. The Tuzla Municipality authorities demanded installation of desulphurization system on the existing TPP blocks.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:As a result of legal action, the municipality of Tuzla received financial compensation for contamination from the Elektroprivreda BiH d.d. Sarajevo in 2013 and in 2014. Elektroprivreda BiH claims to have completed five out of seven projects planned by the contract of friendly environment signed with Tuzla Municipality, mainly including expansion of the district heating supply system and sewage network. Once built environmentally more advanced Block 7 will have lifespan of 40 years. In the meantime active blocks of TPP Tuzla will continue polluting at the same extent until 2027 given that no environmental measures have been implemented.

Sources & Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries


Tehnički izveštaj Uticaji termoelektrana na ugalj na zdravlje na Zapadnom Balkanu

Persistent Organic Pollutants in Free Range Chicken Eggs from Western Balkan countries


Pristustvo teskih metala u zemljistu i lokalno proizvedenoj hrani

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Ekološka revolucija ispred Termoelektrane- Građani protestvovali zbog zagađenja

TPP Tuzla

Projekti Elektroprivrede BiH: Ponude za Blok 7 TE Tuzla u aprilu

Blok 7 TE „Tuzla“

Izgradnja Bloka 7 TE Tuzla: Nije zagađenje, već veliki benefit

Bosnia: Pollution or big benefit, construction of the 7th unit of TPP “Tuzla” caused negative reactions from local communities and NGOs

Successful completion of the project “Thermal power plant Tuzla”

Građani protiv deponije šljake iz TE Tuzla 7

Zdravstveni troškovi kao posljedica zagađenja iz termoelektrana na ugalj u BiH se procjenjuju na 3,1 milijardu eura

Saznajemo: Kinezi grade blok 7 u Tuzli

Nepodnošljiva zagađenost vazduha u Tuzli

Termoelektrana i prljava energija

Učestovali smo na ETNAR seminaru u Tuzli


Istraživanje: Zdravstveni troškovi od zagađenja iz termoelektrana na ugalj u BiH drugi u regiji

Kokošja jaja iz Zenice i Tuzle opasna za zdravlje

Potpisan aneks ugovor o finansiranju izgradnje Bloka 7 TE Tuzla

Tuzla 7 lignite power plant, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Gradsko vijeće Tuzla: Glavni krivac za zagađenje vazduha termoelektrana

Japanci odustali od ulaganja u TE Tuzla

Građani pripremaju kolektivnu tužbu protiv Elektroprivrede BiH

Izgradnja pogona ili uvoz struje: Da li će BiH ostati bez svoje električne energije?

Kinezi ulažu 722 miliona evra u TE Tuzla

REPORTERI MAGAZINA U NAJZAGAĐENIJEM GRADU U EUROPI Svi pričaju samo o Pekingu, a Tuzla je tri puta zagađenija

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Inicijativa za kolektivnu tužbu protiv EP BiH

Proizvod smrti TE Tuzla

Ekoloska revolucija: Protest građana Sickog Broda, Husina i Bukinja

Tuzla: Senail Ajsic protest ispred Termoelektrane Tuzla

Teškim metalima zagađeno poljoprivredno zemljište u Tuzli

Žitelji tuzlanskih naselja: Termoelektrana uzrok karcinoma

Termoelektrana Tuzla: Neraskidiva veza tuzlanskog industrijskog bazena - Reportaža - 25.02.2016.

Other comments:The Chinese company Gezhouba and The Export-Import Bank have been included in construction of other two TPP in B&H, the one near Doboj is finished, while there is agreement on the construction of another one in Banovici.

Meta information

Contributor:Jovanka Spiric, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)
Last update24/05/2016



TE Tuzla protest

Citizens of Tuzla protesting against TPP, they say "We are dying and you do not care" and "Stop polluting us"