Velimir Ognjenović (pictured left), mayor of Zaječar, and Marek Klimeš (right), Vision Group Balcan – Vision Sword consortium director, signed a precontract for the construction of a wind power plant at Vrška čuka peak on municipal territory at the border between Serbia and Bulgaria. “The investment is worth EUR 100 million, and the City of Zaječar will collect 5% of overall revenue. In the first phase, the income for the city budget would be about half a million euros per year, while it would double after the whole system is complete,” Ognjenović said, as reported by the municipal authority’s portal.
The facility is planned for a capacity of 60 MW. The city will issue all necessary permits for the construction as soon as possible so that the Czech consortium can start to lay the foundations for the generators and build the power substation, the article said. The report adds the Ministry of Mining and Energy is supposed to make the next move as talks are underway for the quota for wind power production.
The wind farm will have two sections and Hyundai’s technology will be utilized, Ognjenović was quoted by regional Radio Magnum’s portal. The first phase, in his words, is for a capacity of 36 MW. The mayor added the construction is planned to last two years. He stated the standard is for the municipality to collect 3% to 7% of revenue but that some investors claimed not one local authority in Serbia asked for a share of profits. “(Neighbouring) Negotin made an agreement for 1% of gross income, and we are the first in Serbia to get 5%… It would enable us to solve city lighting and indirect users, meaning we won’t have any problems with paying electricity bills,” Ognjenović underscored and added the Czech investors can cover investments of EUR 150 million in total.
Ognjenović claimed the consortium is interested to apply in the upcoming international tender for the construction of a landfill in Halovo in a public–private partnership. The procedure is set to start in the autumn, in his words.
Ognjenović denied claims by local portal Zaječar Online that he had signed a protocol for a wind power plant in the same location six months before with WP Energy Systems d. o. o., a Swiss-based company’s subsidiary. The media outlet said the firm already invested EUR 10 million and that it announced it will sue the municipal authority for EUR 15 million in damages. Zaječar Online published documents claiming they prove the deal was valid and that the Swiss investor has been trying to meet local officials since December. The portal also showed data from the public register showing the Czech consortium had no employees through 2013 and that it booked losses of over EUR 30,000 for that year and 2014.