Serbia is putting together project and technical documentation for the construction of two pumped-storage hydropower plants, Bistrica and Đerdap 3, said Mining and Energy Minister Zorana Mihajlović, adding that the first phase of the Đerdap 3 project could be completed by 2025.
Đerdap 3, according to Mihajlović, should have an installed a capacity of 2,200 MW, with a solar power plant and a wind farm with a total capacity of 200 MW built in its vicinity. The hybrid pumped-storage power plant would be built in phases, with the first, 600 MW phase expected to be finished by 2025, she said in an interview with Beta news agency.
The construction of Đerdap 3 should cost EUR 2 billion, but the exact figure will be known next year, once the documentation is completed, she said. After that, Serbia can look for financing for the project, she said.
Natural gas and electricity imports could cost EUR 5 billion this winter
She noted that the price of electricity for businesses in Serbia has been raised to EUR 95 and that this was the only way to ensure energy security. Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) is a state-owned power utility, and the state cannot afford to import electricity, she noted.
So far EPS has spent EUR 1.5 billion on electricity imports, but additional funding will have to be provided by the state, perhaps by reducing other investments.
Until recently, the projected cost of gas and electricity imports for the period until March next year was EUR 3 billion, but it has now been raised to up to EUR 5 billion due to electricity price hikes.
EPS can regain its footing once it builds pumped-storage hydropower plants Đerdap 3 and Bistrica, she said, adding that the state power utility needs to forge strategic partnerships on renewable energy sources and hold stakes of over 50% in such projects.
The ministry recommends EPS to look for strategic partners
The Ministry of Mining and Energy has recently proposed a set of recommendations for reducing electricity and heat consumption.
The recommendation for EPS is to initiate procedures to select strategic partners on the construction of renewable energy power plants.
Basically, EPS should seek to become a 100% or majority (over 50%) owner of renewable energy projects. The proposed model, envisaged by the law on renewable energy sources, involves issuing a public call to private investors to become EPS’ strategic partners under terms defined by the Government of Serbia and EPS, according to the ministry.