Renewables

Mrsovo hydropower project in BiH brought back to life

Mrsovo hydropower project BiH

Jani Brumat on Unsplash

Published

July 6, 2021

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Published:

July 6, 2021

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More than five years after preparatory works ended, Comsar Energy indicated it would continue to build hydropower plant Mrsovo. The planned capacity of the project on the Lim river in the Republic of Srpska in BiH is 36.8 MW.

The Government of the Republic of Srpska obligated Comsar Energy hidro to produce an environmental impact study for its hydropower project Mrsovo near Rudo in the east of Bosnia and Herzegovina, close to the borders with Serbia and Montenegro, Capital.ba reported. The company asked the authorities a month ago to clarify whether the document is necessary.

The Lim river originates in Montenegro and passes through Serbia

Comsar Energy’s subsidiary began preparatory works in 2014 for the 36.8 MW facility, but never proceeded to the construction phase. According to earlier media reports, the firm controlled by Russian billionaire Rashid Serdarov was looking for a strategic partner.

The site is on the Lim river, which originates in Montenegro and passes through Serbia. The Republic of Srpska is one of the two entities that make up BiH.

The concession was extended last year to 50 years

Of note, the plan by EPS and ERS, state-owned utilities from Serbia and Srpska, respectively, to build a hydropower plant on the nearby Drina river prompted concern among environmentalists over the potential cross-border impact on the upstream rivers of Tara and Piva in Montenegro. The neighboring country’s government wants answers, but the central government of BiH in Sarajevo also expressed opposition as it wasn’t consulted about the Buk Bijela project.

Comsar will have to conduct the environmental impact study for Mrsovo after it receives location requirements, according to the decision. According to the project design, the site spans 222 hectares, of which a third is agricultural land.

Comsar is also the concessionaire in the Ugljevik 3 coal-fired thermal power plant project

In the project’s early days, the cost was estimated at EUR 102 million. In 2012, the Republic of Srpska signed a concession agreement for 30 years while last year the period was extended to 50 years.

The project dates back to 1977. Comsar’s documentation shows three vertical Kaplan turbines would be installed.

The update almost coincided with the signing of a contract for the construction of coal-fired thermal power plant Ugljevik 3. Comsar is the concessionaire, but the deal was announced by two firms from China and Poland that weren’t known to be involved.

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