Global players bid to replace coal with 455 MW of solar power in Romania


Photo: iStock


January 15, 2024






January 15, 2024





Tenders for contractors for 455 MW of solar power capacity that would replace CE Oltenia’s coal plants attracted investors from China, Turkey, the United States, Germany and Ukraine. The company’s joint venture partner is OMV Petrom.

Eight companies and consortiums are participating in the tenders for the design, construction and operation of four solar parks on land belonging to Romania’s state-owned coal miner and power plant operator Complexul Energetic Oltenia. The government has bailed out the troubled utility using European funds. The strategy is to replace its assets with solar power and gas power plants.

Romania has pledged to end the use of coal by 2032. CE Oltenia selected OMV Petrom in December 2021 as its equal partner in joint ventures for photovoltaic facilities of 455 MW in total peak capacity. The oil and gas company also has ambitious decarbonization plans.

EPC companies competing for contracts of up to EUR 375 million in total

The locations are in the counties of Dolj and Gorj in the country’s southwest. The two companies valued the contracts at an overall EUR 375 million.

Selected contractors would operate the solar power systems for three years and transfer them to CE Oltenia and OMV Petrom. Their bids are under evaluation.

The Ișalnița unit is envisaged with a minimum capacity of 85 MW and valued at EUR 69.6 million. The second lot, Rovinari Est, is for at least 110 MW and a 400/110 kV substation. The budget amounts to EUR 103.7 million.

Project Tismana 1 should have no less than 128.3 MW. It is worth EUR 100.3 million. The fourth lot, called Tismana 2, is for a minimum of 131.7 MW, estimated at EUR 101,1 million.

Three sole bidders

The European Union’s Modernisation Fund is covering 70% of the costs. According to data from Romania’s electronic public procurement system SEAP, reported by EuroOlteniaInfo, there are three sole bidders.

Girişim Elektrik is a Turkish engineering, procurement and construction (EPC). Ameresco Sunel Energy is a joint venture between Ameresco, from the United States, and Sunel, based in the United Kingdom, but with operational headquarters in Athens, Greece. Romanian energy infrastructure and civil construction company Electrogrup is the third company bidding alone. It is part of the E-Infra group.

PV panel manufacturers LONGi, AE Solar participate as part of consortiums

Shanghai Electric placed a bid as a consortium of its subsidiaries Shanghai Electric Hong Kong International Engineering Co. Ltd and Shanghai Electric UK Co. Ltd.

Romanian company Actual Connect leads a consortium consisting of six other domestic companies, all with a track record in the photovoltaics sector. Multigrup Activ Distribution, based in Bucharest, is the head of a consortium including Italian solar power project developer Comal.

Enevo Group from Romania is participating with Chinese PV module manufacturer LONGi. The last consortium, led by Restart Energy One from Timișoara, includes Ukrainian contractor Solar Steelconstruction and AE Alternative Energy, operating within German solar panel manufacturer AE Solar.

All participants submitted bids for all four photovoltaic plants except Restart Energy One, which is registered only for the first lot.

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