Montenegro: Slovenia interested in cable to Italy, Montenegrin hydropower

, SEE Energy News

Montenegrin Government said that Slovenia is interested in expanding its cooperation with Montenegro by using part of the capacity of the future submarine electricity cable to Italy as well as the hydropower potential of the Moraca and Komarnica rivers.

In February, Italian company Terna announced that the laying of the entire submarine DC cable between Montenegro and Italy has been completed. The complete project for electricity connection between Italy and Montenegro should be completed by the end of next year. The total length of the cable between Pescara in Italy and cape Jaz in Montenegro is 455 kilometers, of which 433 kilometers are underwater. Terna started the laying of 136 kilometers of the cable from the Italian coast in the beginning of 2015, while the laying of 157 kilometers of cable from the Montenegrin side has been completed in December 2016.

In mid-November 2010, Montenegro has signed the contract on the implementation of project for linking electricity grids of Montenegro and Italy with the submarine DC cable. The value of the project is estimated to one billion euros, while Montenegro will invest some 100 million euros. Montenegro should be entitled to 20% of the capacity and transit fees from the future cable. It is planned to connect to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina from Montenegro. According to the agreement, the obligation of Montenegrin electricity transmission system operator CGES, in which Terna has 22 % stake, is to build 440 kV transmission line between the Adriatic coast (substation in Lastva Grbaljska) and Pljevlja.

In November 2016, it was announced that Chinese company Norinco plans to build eight hydropower plants (HPP) on Moraca river with combined installed capacity of 293.6 MW and an annual electricity generation of 894.82 GWh. This is much higher compared to previous project of the construction of HPPs on Moraca river from 2011, which envisaged the construction of four HPPs with combined installed capacity of 238.4 MW and an annual electricity generation of 721 GWh.

Norinco’s technical solution for Moraca river HPPs envisages the implementation of the project in two phases. The first phase includes the construction of HPP Andrijevo and HPP Zlatica, while the second phase includes the construction of HPPs upstream of HPP Andrijevo. A total of eight HPPs is planned, five of them will be built on Moraca river and another three on its tributaries (Mrtvica, Sjevernica and Mala Rijeka). Five HPPs on Moraca river are: HPP Gornja 1, HPP Gornja 2, HPP Gornja 3, HPP Andrijevo and HPP Zlatica.

In 2015, the Government of Montenegro has signed Memorandums of Understanding in the field of hydropower with Chinese companies Norinco International and SynoHydro and Turkish company Bereket Enerji, as well as with the Governments of Turkey and Slovenia. The MoU is primarily related to two large projects: the construction of HPPs on Moraca and Komarnica rivers.