Montenegro: Seven SHPP concession contracts terminated

, SEE Energy News

According to the statement from the Montenegrin Ministry of Capital Investments, contracts for the construction of SHPPs on the following watercourses have been terminated: Djuricka Rijeka in Plav municipality, Bistrica in Bijelo Polje municipality, Bukovica in Savnik municipality, Rezevica Rijeka in Budva municipality, Ljeviska Rijeka and Rastak in Kolasin municipality. The Government will have to pay compensation to investors, however the exact amount it is known yet.

The Ministry said that the previous Government approached the process of termination of SHPP concessions without clear plan, which ultimately had a negative impact on citizens, since five lawsuits have been filed with the Commercial Court for damages so far. It said that new decisions on terminating projects that are already being implemented will not be made without considering all possible impact. However, it can be said with certainty that no new concessions for the construction of small hydropower plants will be awarded.

In late 2020, Montenegrin Prime Minister-Designate Zdravko Krivokapic said in his expose that the new Government will permanently ban the construction of SHPPs in Montenegro and that all existing concession agreements will be reviewed and revised. He said that privileged individuals have benefited from the construction of SHPPs so far, but watercourses are one of the greatest natural resources of Montenegro and as such must be preserved. He noted that SHPPs do great damage to river ecosystems, nature and public finances, and their participation in the energy system is negligible.