Once constructed, the Čebren pumped storage hydropower plant will significantly accelerate the deployment of renewables in North Macedonia and the region by helping balance intermittent green energy, said Viktor Andonov, Energy Advisor to the Prime Minister of North Macedonia.
The Čebren project, planned decades ago in the ex-Yugoslavia country, will be finally built by the Greek consortium PPC-Archirodon Group, the winner of the Government’s tender for concession.
Two weeks ago, the consortium of Greece’s Public Power Corporation (PPC) and Archirodon Group won the concession to build the Čebren pumped storage hydropower plant in North Macedonia.
During an appearance at the Win-Win show on Telma television, Viktor Andonov noted that the construction of the facility, with a capacity of 333 MW, has been planned for six decades, Libertas reported.
The idea, he pointed out, is to use the water of the Crna River, the largest tributary of the Vardar River, which is the longest in the country.
Under a transparent procedure, the government chose a private investor that accepted the obligation to finance and build Čebren on its own
The selected technical solution, primarily the height of the dam, was determined based on thousands of pages of detailed technical and geological research carried out by renowned domestic and foreign consultants back in the days of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Andonov pointed out.
For example, the height of the Čebren dam was defined by the Water Economy Basis of Macedonia, which was adopted by parliament in 1978.
According to Andonov, the government selected a private investor under a transparent procedure. Its obligation is to finance and build Čebren on its own and operate it jointly with state-owned power utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM), he added that ESM would own 33% of the faiclity.
Government-controlled ESM will have a 33% stake in the company that will operate Čebren
Commenting on the project value, Andonov said the estimated investment value is EUR 1 billion. The prices that were the topic of speculations represent old calculations. Due to
Regarding the project valuation of EUR 1 billion, Andonov claimed that speculations that are emerging on the cost are based on old prices. With inflation over the past two decades, and especially in 2022, prices of construction materials have been in constant increase, he said.
Andonov stressed that according to calculations based on data published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) for 2022, the cost of new hydropower project was USD 2,881/kW.
Translated to the capacity of Čebren and the Orlov Kamen HPP, the investment is estimated at EUR 1 billion, Andonov said.