Republika Srpska Vrbas hydro power company profitable despite the low water level: preparations for Bocac HPP project in progress

, SEE Energy News

Vrbas Hydro Power Company (HPC) from Mrkonjic City, part of the holding company “Electric Power Industry of RS” will end this year with a positive financial result, despite the extremely poor hydrological situation, said Zdravko Kovacevic, executive director of organizational and legal matters and HR in  the company.

“In 2012 we will not make big profit like in the previous years due to the aforementioned poor hydrological situation. I emphasize that this has been achieved because the Hydro power plant Bocac was in full operational readiness during the year in spite of repair work and other significant investments that have been made in its facilities, “said Kovacevic.

Which big investments did HPC realize  during this year?

Kovacevic: In this year a number of significant investments have been completed. Overhaul of the hydro power plant Bocac was done and both of its units were put into operation according to the planned schedule. Overhaul of the plant is in the function of full operational readiness so this job was given due attention. We should mention that most of the repair work was carried out by employees of this company. In addition to repairs, one of the most important and major investments was  the construction of additional spillways  with a tunnel in the left side of the dam of HPP Bocac worth 10 million CM. Work on this facility are progressing according to the  agreed schedule and it will be completed in 2013.  Also reconstruction of 110 kV facilities, long distance lines worth 770,000 KM and modernization of cooling water system in both generator units with investment value of 1.8 million were done.
The selection of the bidder for the development and management of systems for data acquisition – SKADA worth three million is ongoing, and a bidder was selected and a contract signed for the final design and construction of the turbine worth 2.5 million CM. We should mention that this is the first facility that will produce electricity primarily for needs of the company.

For next year HPC plans to make a concept design for the project of HPP Bocac 2. What will be the dynamics of the implementation of this valuable project and how will it be funded?

Kovacevic: Hydro power plants on Vrbas submitted to the RS Government a bid for the concession to build  HPP Bocac 2 with installed capacity of 9.34 MWh. Given that this project is included in the economic policy of the Government of Republic Srpska in 2013, it is likely that the company will be granted a concession to build HPP Bocac 2. This company signed a contract with the selected architectural company on the development of the concept design and feasibility study for HPP Bocac 2 After that they will immediately announce a tender for the main project and work actively on obtaining all required permits necessary to begin construction. It is important to note that much of the construction work has already been done due to the fact that a dam already exists which serves as a compensation reservoir, which, like the transmission line for transmission of produced electricity is owned by this company. The most important thing is that this company has provided its own funds for the construction of HPP Bocac 2, which are deposited with banks in the RS. As for the dynamics of these early works all depends on when the RS Government will assign the concession for the construction of this important facility.

What are the real benefits of the hydro power plant Bocac 2, both for the company Hydro Power Plants on Vrbas and for the wider community?

Kovacevic: Constructing the hydro power plant Bocac 2 is a significant investment, both for the company and for the “Electric Power Industry of RS”, Mrkonjic Grad municipality, and for Republic Srpska. During construction, several companies will be engaged as well as local workers that will be working on the facility for three years, and at the end of the construction a part of the labor force will remain to work in the maintenance and management of built facilities.
As for the energy benefits they are even more important if one takes into account that most of the production  facilities are located in the eastern part of Republic Srpska, and the highest consumption is in the western part of RS. When it comes to financial benefits this company will have a significant benefit in terms of positive results in doing business, and the wider community will benefit through various forms of fees and taxes.

HPC is planning to build several more power plants, but the condition for this is that the RS government solves the problem of long ago issued concessions for HPP Banja Luka – low and HPP Krupa, which were never realized by the Slovenian company that got the concession. Is it time for RS to stop ignoring this and if necessary, terminate the concession agreement and free locations for new investments?

Kovacevic: It is true that on Vrbas river downstream of HPP Bocac a construction of several hydro power facilities was planned of which the largest is HPP Banja Luka – low and HPP Krupa. I would not agree with you that RS is ignoring this problem if one takes into account that the government or the responsible ministry, engaged a legal team composed of distinguished experts in the field of legal matter to work on finding ways to terminate the concession for the construction of these facilities granted by the previous government to companies which had no intention to build facilities but to trade in concessions instead. In any case, it is bad for the “Electric Power Industry of RS” and RS that new facilities cannot be built.

Source Serbia Energy Magazine