Contract for Trans-Balkan Electricity Corridor signed
Minister of Economy Vladimir Kavarić said good energy connectivity is necessary for future investments in the energy sector and free flow of energy through the country. That brings Montenegro financial and strategic benefits, he added at a press conference about the construction of the Trans-Balkan Electricity Corridor – Section Montenegro, funded by the European Union and implemented by German KfW Development Bank.
The agreement worth EUR 25 million was signed by Kavarić, Roland Siller from the KfW and Ivan Bulatović, head of Montenegrin Power Transmission System (CGES), the state-owned utility said on its website.
The project will contribute to the establishment of the regional electricity market, said Andre Lys, head of cooperation at the EU Delegation.
Good transport connectivity is vital for the placement of all goods and services that are being produced or will be produced in Montenegro, the minister said and reminded the Berlin Process has enabled Balkan countries to resolve long-standing issues related to the flow of goods and services through the possibility of funding transport and energy connections with the region and further with the European Union. The economy minister explained the project includes strengthening of infrastructure for the undersea energy cable between Montenegro and Italy and the construction of transmission lines between Montenegro and Serbia. The project is worth EUR 127 million and it was approved at last year’s summit in Vienna, he said. Kavarić pointed out the undersea energy cable is Montenegro’s priority because it puts the country at the center of energy flows in this part of the world and completely changes the vision of all the other neighboring countries, giving them the ability to connect with Western Europe via Montenegro.
Head of cooperation at the European Union Delegation in Montenegro Andre Lys said the improvement of connections within the Western Balkans, as well as the region’s integration with the bloc, is an important foundation for economic development and bridges between people and businesses. He explained that is why the EU gave high priority to the issue of integration and set aside EUR 1 billion for technical assistance and investment in projects from the agenda for connectivity by 2020. This project will contribute to the establishment of the regional electricity market, which will be linked with the EU via undersea cable, Lys said.
Roland Siller, member of the Management Committee at KfW, said the Trans-Balkan Electricity Corridor will not only improve and stabilize the supply of electricity in the region, but that it will also enable market integration and the creation of new business opportunities and generate income for Montenegro.