Montenegro, Government has not given up on the construction of small hydropower plants (SHPP)

, SEE Energy News

The Montenegrin Government has not given up on the construction of small hydropower plants (SHPP), nor the construction of hydropower plants on the Moraca river, but is offering them to foreign investors as an investment opportunity.

In the fifth edition of the brochure Investment and Business Opportunities in Montenegro prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, energy investments are presented as one of 13 sectors with attractive investment conditions.

In the hydro segment, the Government offers investments in the future HPP Komarnica, four HPPs on the Moraca river, SHPPs with combined capacity of 53 MW, two solar power plants, biomass power plants and, possibly, wind farms.

The HPPs on the Moraca river are an old idea that the previous Governments tried to shape and implement. The offer for investors is actually a continuation of the implementation of the proposal of detailed spatial plans from 2010 and the public debate that followed, which envisages four HPPs – Andrijevo, Raslovici, Milunovici and Zlatica with a total installed capacity of 238.4 MW and estimated annual electricity production of 616 GWh. The largest of these is HPP Andrijevo with a capacity of 127.4 MW, while the other three have 37 MW of installed capacity each. According to the same, more than a decade old, estimates, construction would cost about 540 million euros.

After the failed tender in 2011, the project was put on hold until 2015, when the then Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Slovenia and Turkey on the development of the project for the construction of HPPs on the Moraca river. The tender in November 2016 received several proposals, but only those of Chinese Norinco for five HPPs on the Moraca itself and three more on its tributaries Mrtvica, Sjevernica and Mala Rijeka, and Turkish Bereket Energy for four HPPs on the main stream were considered.

Two projects are offered in the solar segment – Briska Gora and Velje Brdo. It is stated that solar power plant Briska Gora will have 250 MW of installed capacity, expected annually in production of 450 GWh, and will be built in two phases. However, it is not stated that the current Government in early March repealed the document which provided for the increase of the zone for the construction of the power plant, and the capacity increase from 118 to 262 MW due to the impact on the environment.

For 50 MW solar power plant Velje brdo near Podgorica, the adoption of a local study of the location has been completed and the Ministry of Capital Investments has formed a commission to prepare the future tender.

As for the wind farms, after Krnovo and Mozura, in August 2019, a tender was announced for Brajici project. Just over a year ago, the Government signed a contract to for the construction of this 100.8 MW wind farm, which should begin soon.