Republika Srpska Energy minister Kovacevic: Construction of hydro power plants on Drina is not under jurisdiction of Montenegro

, SEE Energy News

The beginning of the construction of four hydro power plants on Drina is planned for next year. The plants will be built based on the Agreement on strategic partnership in research, development, construction and use of hydro potential of the upper basin of the river Drina, that was signed in Banja Luka on September 26, by representatives of “Electric Power Industry of Republic Srpska” and the German company RWE, said Minister of Industry, Energy and Mines of the Republic Srpska, Zeljko Kovacevic in an interview for Politika.

Referring to the criticism from Montenegro regarding construction of hydro power plants on Drina, Kovacevic said that he agrees with what President of RS, Milorad Dodik said.

Dodik said that “neither Montenegro nor anyone else has the right to challenge the construction of four hydro power plants on the upper Drina” and that it is under “exclusive jurisdiction of the Republic Srpska”.

“Montenegro has no jurisdiction when it comes to these projects, because this region is under full sovereignty of RS,” Kovacevic said.

In earlier projects flooding of land in Montenegro was envisaged.

“We have downgraded our projects so that would not happen, and everything that we do is in the territory of RS. In this area we are sovereign and Montenegro will not be able to prevent it with any protest notes or notes of any kind. It is our basic right to do so” Kovacevic said.

According to him the contract defines a ratio of 60 percent for RWE, and 40 percent for Electric Power Industry of RS in the joint company.

“We are talking about building four hydro power plants, “Buk Bijela”, “Foca”, “Sutjeska” and “Paunci”, with installed capacity of 260 MW, total annual production of 760 gigawatt-hours of electricity from renewable sources, with the approximate investment value of around 460 million Euros” Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining, Zeljko Kovacevic said for Politika.

Kovacevic said he was pleased with the choice of the German partner in this project, and he expects that RWE would improve the energy sector of RS.

President and Prime Minister, Milorad Dodik and Aleksandar Džombić both referred to this after the signing the contract.

Kovacevic said that the start of construction of the first power plant “Buk Bijela” is due in early October 2014. He argues that they have taken care of the environment in every aspect.

Source Serbia Energy Magazine