Romania: Government supports Hidroelectrica regarding HPPs on the Jiu river

, SEE Energy News

State Secretary at the Ministry of Energy Andrei Maioeranu and General Manager of Hidroelectrica Bogdan Badea participated at the debate organized by the Gorj county regrading the construction of two hydropower plants on the Jiu river.

Maioeranu said that the completion of the ongoing hydropower investment by Hidroelectrica, a producer of electricity from renewable energy sources, is of national interest and the Ministry and the Romanian Government will provide all the support for the completion of the project.

Badea stressed that the company is facing an unprecedented situation, as it has already invested over 155 million euros in the project, which has now been cancelled due to environmental issues. He noted the legislative inconsistencies that seriously affect the way in which the investments are carries out, stressing that it sends a very bad signal of discouragement to all potential investors in the country.

In December, two non-governmental environmental organizations – Bankwatch Romania and Neuer Weg Association have won the case in which they requested the cancellation of construction permits for two hydropower plants on the Jiu river, a project initiated by state-owned electricity producer Hidroelectrica.

The project included the construction of two HPPs – Bumbesti and Dumitra and one small hydropower plant, with combined installed capacity of 65 MW and annual electricity output of 259 GWh. At the moment of court’s decision on the cancellation of the project, the construction of HPP Dumitra was 98 % completed, while HPP Bumbesti was 90 % completed. Hidroelectrica had invested about 155 million euros in this project.

In 2005, the area where the hydropower plants were supposed to be built became a National Park and a Natura 2000 site of community interest. The organization claimed that the construction of HPPs would destroy the river, deeming that this would be the most damaging hydropower project ever implemented in Romania.