Serbia exclusive report: RWE & EPS JV, The construction of five HPPs on the Velika Morava river

, News Serbia Energy

Plans for the construction of hydropower plants on several rivers in Serbia are several decades old. In May, 2011th, German-Serbian cooperation for the construction of five hydroelectric power plants on the river Great Morava, with a total capacity of about 150MW finally was agreed. Public Enterprise “Serbia Power Utility Company” and the German “RWE Innogy” signed an agreement on establishing a joint venture “Hydropower plants on Morava”. We are in the year when construction of these hydropower plants should begin.

EPS will have 49% stake and the Germans the rest. According to the technical documentation, the investment value of these five HPP in the cascade is estimated at 352MEUR. The planned start of construction is in 2014th, until the completion of implementation envisaged for 2020th. Minister of Energy, Zorana Mihajlovic recently said that the construction of five hydropower plants would be completed by 2018th.

According to the Serbia planning documents, the Great Morava is a belt of intense development, in which valley there are significant roads and railways, gas line, settlements, large agricultural areas, Kostolac mine basin and other industrial facilities.

All this points to the complexity of using hydropower potential of the Great Morava, which was analyzed repeatedly over the last decade, but so far there is no hydropower facility.

The Great Morava river basin covers 37.000 square kilometers with an average flow of 230 cubic meters of water. The watercourse is over 180 kilometers long with a drop of 62 meters. Energetically, more than 90 percent of the potential of this river is not used.

Minister of Energy, Development and the Environment Protection, Zorana Mihajlovic, in early January said that the project of construction of hydropower plants on the river Great Morava was going according to plan and that could not be endanger even by the construction of the Danube-Morava-Vardar channel.

On the other hand, negotiations about the construction of the Danube-Morava-Vardar channel are in progress. The most interest in the project expressed Chinese investors who want to get concession for canal building. The company “China Gezhouba Group” supposedly does a feasibility study for the project for free, where it is shown that the project is feasible and economically viable.

Chinese partners in the project of the Morava channel are ready, within this complex project, to invest immediately in the construction of several small hydropower plants on the Morava, and offer various financing models to Serbia, including concessions and direct investment.

However, the Minister of Energy said that about the construction of this channel a lot of analysis and negotiations with other countries was necessary to be discussed. The certain fact is that with the hydropower plants construction and small hydropower plants on this river flows, its great potential will be used, the coast will be protected from flooding and the irrigation of the surrounding farmland will be improved.

Source; Serbia Energy