Serbia and Republika Srpska (RS) intend to jointly build the hydropower plant (HPP) Buk Bijela, the two sides said after the sixth Serbia-RS energy committee session chaired by energy and mining ministers of Serbia and Republika Srpska – Aleksandar Antić and Petar Đokić.
The construction of HPPs Foča and Paunci is in the pipeline, and now it has been decided to also include the construction of HPP Buk Bijela in the cooperation, Minister Antić said after a meeting held in Belgrade, adding that the construction of these power plants, with installed capacity of more than 180 MW, will equally contribute to the energy stability of Serbia and the RS.
At the energy committee session, it was said that the progress was made in obtaining technical documentation for the HPP projects.
These HPPs represent an exploration of the Drina river upper course hydropower potential, which is a strategic project for Serbia and the RS, Antić added.
The construction of HPP Buk Bijela had not been mentioned as a joint project between the two sides, as it was the case with the construction of HPPs Foča and Paunci.
In January this year, following the energy committee session, the two sides announced that public power company Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (ERS) will set up a concession company soon to enter into contractual relations with state-owned power company Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) with the aim of building HPPs Foča and Paunci.
At the time, Minister Petar Đokić said tha tendering will be launched soon for the selection of a partner with whom the RS will build HPP Buk Bijela.
Memorandum with Chinese company
In August last year, ERS and its subsidiary Hidroelektrane na Drini established a joint venture called Hidroelektrana Buk Bijela.
HPP Buk Bijela will be built about 11.6 kilometers upstream from Foča. It is planned to be equipped with three hydro generators with a total capacity of 93 MW, with the expected average annual electricity generation at around 330 GWh. The project would require an investment of EUR 193 million.
Chinese companies were also interested in cooperating with the RS regarding HPP Buk Bijela. In July 2017, the Republika Srpska Government and China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation (AVIC-ENG) signed aMemorandum of Cooperation on the HPP Buk Bijela project.