Electricity

Republic of Srpska breaks ground on three hydropower plants on Bistrica river

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Photo: Pixabay/JillWellington

Published

December 29, 2021

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Published:

December 29, 2021

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The Republic of Srpska has held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of three hydropower plants on the Bistrica river, with a total installed capacity of 39 MW. The contractor on the project, valued at EUR 103 million, is AVIC-ENG – China National Aero-technology International Engineering Corp.

All three hydropower plants are expected to go online in four years at the latest, with a projected annual electricity production of 152 GWh.

Of note, according to an earlier application for a preliminary environmental impact assessment, the combined installed capacity of the three cascading power plants is to be 36.1 MW, with an annual output of 134.5 GWh.

All three hydropower plants are expected to go online in four years at the latest

The project is implemented by a firm called Hidroelektrane Bistrica, controlled by the Republic of Srpska’s state power utility, Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (ERS).

ERS is preparing to issue bonds on the Vienna Stock Exchange to raise funds for Bistrica and other projects

ERS was given the green light this month to issue bonds on the Vienna Stock Exchange in January to raise funds for Bistrica and other projects, in what will be the first such move among state-owned energy companies in the region.

Earlier this year, ERS failed to secure a EUR 68.7 million loan for the Bistrica project, when it also sought a EUR 50 million loan to finance the completion of 160 MW hydropower plant Dabar.

Serbia’s EPS has launched a project to build pumped-storage hydropower plant Bistrica

On the Serbian side of the border, state power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) announced a tender earlier in December to develop a preliminary design and feasibility study for the construction of a pumped-storage hydropower plant (RHE) also called Bistrica. The deadline to submit bids is January 28.

EPS already has one such hydropower plant – RHE Bajina Bašta, and RHE Bistrica would be similar. According to the tender documentation, RHE Bistrica would have four Frances-type units with a nominal (output) turbine capacity of 157.1 MW and a maximum (input) pump capacity of 167.9 MW. The Bistrica pumped-storage plant would be located near EPS’s existing hydropower plant Bistrica.

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