Montenegro: Feasibility for new HPP Buk Bjela is promising, NGOs oppose the project

6. January 2015. / SEE Energy News

After ten years the construction of HPP “Buk Bijela” has been again in the focus of interest these days. The lake would overflow the most beautiful part of the river, at a distance of 25 kilometers. Ten years after the adoption of the Declaration on the Protection of the Montenegrin beauty, the old story about the construction of HPP “Buk Bijela” on the Drina is repeated, which would lead to a flood of the Tear, its attractive canyon (the second largest in the world, behind Colorado) and numerous rapids.

It is an old project which is estimated at around 400 MEUR, and besides to dozen kilometers of the Drina, a flood threatens the entire remaining course of the Piva and at least 12 kilometers of the Tara River, and just one of its most attractive parts full with rapids, where people enjoy rafting, fishing, vacation. Therefore, it could cover the huge artificial lake, all because, as the experts would say, 1.2 billion kilowatt- hours of the peak energy of the highest quality

The energy advisor in the Ministry of Economy Nikola Jablan said that the system “Buk Bijela” is not finished story, because the Declaration on the Protection of the Tara can be revoked in the same manner in which it was made!

. – Why would one generation prevent some future generation to realize the best project in this part of Europe which, in addition, is the most important and crucial for the further development of the Montenegrin energy system? Declaration of 2004th was stopped by the building process of a system “Buk Bijela” that led Montenegro and BiH, namely Republika Srpska. Thus, it was impossible construction of HPP “Buk Bijela” and “Foca”, the annual production of 1,350 million kilowatt-hours and the installed capacity of about 500 MW, of which a third would belong to Montenegro – said Jablan.

President of the Parliamentary Committee for Economy, Finance and Budget Aleksandar Damjanovic believes that the Parliament of Montenegro should seriously consider as soon as possible the possibility of calling a referendum on the use of the water resources of the Tara River and construction of HPP “Buk Bijela”.

– It has been a decade since the Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Protection of the Tara and therefore it is the right moment to summarize the effects of the document adoption and to open the honest dialogue about energy, and therefore the economic prospects of Montenegro – said Damjanovic.

The agreement on the construction of the new HPP signed a professional Boards of Electric Power Industries of Montenegro and Republika Srpska, and the two governments approved. Numerically, the plant will cost 400 MEUR, between 3,000 and 6,000 workers of various professions will to be engaged in its construction, while the concession would be ceded to the partner (mentioning the British EFT) for 30 years, and it would sell two-thirds of the electricity to RS and one to Montenegro. All this has angered environmentalists, rafters, fishermen, nature lovers. Even then, the Ecological Society “Breznica” from Pljevlje wrote to the World Bank and the IMF about the consequences of the HPP construction on the untouched nature upstream of the future dam.

However, those, in this border zone, do not believe in the deluge, because the older residents say that they have heard similar stories in the youth. And if that happens, however, the depths of the artificial lake will include all the downstream and upstream – Hum, Bastasi, Kopilo, confluence of Sutjeska, Krusevo, Jasen, Br┼ítanovica and still 21 rapids, camps on both sides of the coast …

In the area of “Buk Bijela” in the past were carried out the preparatory wells and constructed drainage tunnels, roads and bridges where will be the dam 125 meters high. The artificial lake upstream of the length of nearly 25 kilometers will have 410 million cubic meters of water, and hydro power plant would be, according to the project, 450 megawatts.

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