Montenegro: HPP Komarnica might be built by Serbian EPS

, SEE Energy News

Serbian power utility EPS has long been interested in the construction of HPP Komarnica, and the new management will refer to an alleged contract from the 1980s, which gives Serbia the right to build HPP Komarnica on the basis of research funding. Montenegrin media reported that the first move of the new management of state-owned power utility EPCG, which is expected to be appointed soon, will be the realization of the project for the construction of hydropower plant Komarnica, which will be given to EPS.

Last August, Montenegrin Government has awarded a concession for the construction of 172 MW HPP Komarnica to EPCG. It was previously agreed that the concession will be awarded directly to EPCG, which will decide weather it will build HPP Komarnica by itself or in partnership, as well as weather it will finance the project by itself or through a loan. In early 2020, the Government adopted the detailed spatial plan for the area where the plant should be built. The new version envisages that HPP Komarnica will have installed capacity of around 170 MW, with estimated annual electricity production of 209 GWh, however with a lower elevation of the accumulation compared to the most profitable option. This means that the project will not be as cost effective as it could be, but this version is more environmentally acceptable. The cost of the project has also been increased to 246.5 million euros, significantly higher than the valuation of 185 million euros from 2018. EPCG claims that the initial cost was based on an obsolete study dating from 1988. HPP Komarnica is envisaged as a upstream step od existing HPP Piva, and will use the hydro potential of the Komarnica river, located some 45 kilometers from HPP Piva. It is estimated that the plant could be built in five years.