Electricity

Greece’s PPC and Macedonia’s ESM on track for partnership for Čebren hydropower plant

Greece's PPC and Macedonia's ESM on track to partnership for Čebren hydropower plant

Photo: Government of North Macedonia

Published

September 9, 2022

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Published:

September 9, 2022

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Greece’s PPC is likely to win the concession for the construction and management of the Čebren hydropower plant (HPP), as it is the only one that has submitted an acceptable bid. The project on the Crna river will be a public-private partnership with state-owned utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM). The beginning of construction of the Čebren plant, with a capacity of 333 MW, was announced for next year, after a series of unsuccessful attempts and two decades of waiting.

A consortium consisting of Greek power utility Public Power Corp. (PPC) and construction company Archirodon Group from the same country submitted a complete offer for the concession for the construction of the Čebren HPP, and the use of water from the Crna river. The bid was submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning. The Greek state has a minority stake in PPC but it manages the company.

The deadline for bids for the construction and management of the Čebren hydroelectric power plant in a public-private partnership with the Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM) expired yesterday. French energy company Électricité de France (EDF) also submitted a bid.

Only the Greek power company’s bid is valid

PPC’s offer is the only one acceptable, as EDF’s offer is non-binding and the company didn’t provide the necessary bank guarantee, Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning Nasser Nuredini said.

Start of construction seen next year

The evaluation period for submitted bids is 60 days. The current procedure for granting a concession for the use of water from the Crna river and the construction of the hydroelectric plant began in January.

The selection of a private partner and the signing of a concession agreement are expected by mid-2023

The selection of a private partner and the signing of a concession agreement are expected by mid-2023, after which construction can begin. The investment obligations will be borne entirely by the private partner, the minister noted.

Offset after two decades of attempts

“This is a historic day for the energy sector. I would like to point out that in the whole process we as a government were most committed to making this project a success, after 13 unsuccessful attempts in 20 years. That is why we designed the conditions well and listened to the needs of the candidates,” Nuredini said.

Nuredini: States are increasingly oriented toward the use of domestic capacities

He remarked that countries are increasingly oriented toward the use of domestic capacities due to the energy crisis and the consequences of the lack of electricity at the global level.

The planned capacity of the hydroelectric plant is 333 MW. The investment is estimated at EUR 570 million.

HPP Čebren will be able to provide secondary regulation and balancing energy, which is important for attracting investors

HPP Čebren will be able to provide secondary regulation and balancing energy, which is important for attracting investors, the ministry said. Officials pointed out the hydropower system would form the basis of the energy network of North Macedonia.

The production of electricity is expected to begin in 2028 or 2029, the minister said.

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