Tendering for the selection of equipment suppliers and contractors for a project worth EUR 81.6 million to revitalize the Montenegrin power distribution network is expected by the end of October, while the start of the works is planned for February next year.
The investments will be implemented by the Montenegrin distribution system operator (DSO), Crnogorski elektrodistributivni sistem (CEDIS), 100% owned by power utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG).
The program for the revitalization of medium and low voltage overhead distribution network anticipates an investment of EUR 81.6 million over three years, which is about four times higher compared to the previous multi-annual average investment in these facilities, according to a document on intensive revitalization of the distribution network, adopted by the Montenegrin government. Nearly 60% of the investments are destined for the northern parts of the country.
In 2019, about EUR 32.3 million is to be invested, in 2020 EUR 27 million, and in 2021 EUR 22.3 million. The largest chunk, EUR 32.5 million, is to be spent on the medium and low voltage network, with EUR 29 million planned for the secondary network, EUR 12 million for the primary network, EUR 3.7 million for measuring infrastructure, EUR 2.3 million for other investments, and EUR 2.1 million for other capital assets.
In order to successfully implement the plan, CEDIS intends to employ a young workforce because it currently lacks staff. This, according to the document, would contribute to a faster realization of the set goals.
If all the preconditions for a successful implementation of the program are met, CEDIS plans to announce a public call for the procurement of goods and services by the end of October, while works could start at the beginning of February 2019.
Minister of Economy Dragica Sekulić said that the EUR 81.6 investment will not lead to an increase in electricity distribution tariffs.
The intention is to use these funds in order to employ domestic companies and workers during program implementation, Sekulić said.
As an independent company, CEDIS was founded as a spin-off of the parent company, EPCG, in June 2016. The company distributes electricity to 370,000 consumers in Montenegro and employs more than 1,300 workers.