USAID Energy Investment Activity (USAID EIA) expanded its activities into the gas sector as of 2018. The overall goal of the technical assistance in the gas sector is to work to remove the obstacles to investment in natural gas sector infrastructure and provide recommendations for the establishment of a legal and regulatory framework for a competitive natural gas market. To achieve this goal USAID EIA will review gas pipeline development in Europe and BiH and the sources of gas supply in the context of security of supply, with a special focus on how these developments could affect the gas network development and gas consumption in BiH. In addition, the work will identify changes that must be made in the laws to make connection of the BiH gas network to alternative gas supply sources possible and gas market functional. The expanded activities will also provide the foundation for implementing select recommendations from the Energy Community Treaty to result in progress related to the EU accession requirements for BiH. Specific outcomes from the project will be the following:
• Report on the gas infrastructure permitting processes and recommendations to make it streamlined and transparent to encourage investors and make the desired interconnections able to obtain the permits in a reasonable period of time.
• EIA will develop reports on Trans-European and regional natural gas pipeline projects relevant for BiH security of supply and the most viable options for the BiH network connections to diversify gas supply. These reports will assist BiH to make a decision on optimal sources of supply in order to ensure security of supply for the BiH citizens.
• More than one supplier automatically means that there will be some competition in the BiH natural gas market, which requires reform of the legal and regulatory framework and the development of nondiscriminatory and transparent operational and commercial processes that make such competition possible; these reforms are preconditions for the development of a competitive gas market. EIA will develop the outlines, recommendations and methodology to enable the regulators to develop the rules and regulations necessary for the development of a transparent gas network and the wholesale (and later the retail) natural gas market.
• EIA’s focus on public outreach will increase transparency in the natural gas sector by working directly with the BiH stakeholders and media to provide information to both the natural gas sector and public. Finally, technical assistance will be provided to MOFTER on the reform of the natural gas sector and efforts will be made to increase its capacity in drafting legislation therefor.