Electricity

Serbia asks Japan’s agency JICA to finance pumped storage project Bistrica

rhe bistrica jica sinisa mali takahiko katsumata

Photo: Ministry of Finance of Serbia

Published

April 27, 2023

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Published:

April 27, 2023

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The Government of Serbia would like Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to participate in the financing of the Bistrica pumped storage hydropower project, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The Bistrica project, according to earlier assessments, should have a capacity of 628 MW, and the investment was estimated at EUR 700 million.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Siniša Mali received Ambassador of Japan Takahiko Katsumata for a farewell visit and handed him a letter of intent regarding the pumped storage endeavor.

The document highlights the government’s willingness to improve the partnership with JICA through the financing of Bistrica, the ministry said.

It is a key project for the Go Green Road plan, prepared by national power utility EPS

Mali said it is a strategically important project for the faster integration of renewable energy sources in Serbia, one of the country’s priorities. It is also vital for balancing production and for electricity storage, in his view.

The Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Mining and Energy and government-owned power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) are committed to finding the best financial and technical solutions for the project, which is also envisaged in the 2023 state budget, the document adds, as quoted by the ministry.

Mali said the government is preparing an investment plan and strategy for the energy sector including Bistrica as one of the most important projects.

Serbia can provide guarantees of up to EUR 600 million

Of note, this year’s budget envisage guarantees worth as much as EUR 600 million for Bistrica for loans from domestic and foreign commercial banks or project loans or credit through programs from foreign investment corporations and funds.

State-owned power firm EPS included the proposed pumped storage hydropower plant in its Go Green Road plan, saying it was crucial for its green agenda. The project would enable the integration of new solar and wind facilities, with the expected start of operation in 2031, the company said.

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