Old hydro facility Slaviša Vajner Čiča from 1950 was retired, Večernje novosti newspaper reported. The plant in a cave, on Prača water stream, was replaced by Mesići-Nova’s three turbine-generator sets. The Vaptech-powered 5.21 MW facility was launched by Milorad Dodik, president of the Republic of Srpska, Željka Cvijanović, prime minister of the entity, and Petar Đokić, the energy minister, while Ljubomir Mrda attended the ceremony as head of Elektrodistribucija Pale, operator of BAM 10 million (EUR 5.13 million) project.
„Hydropower plant Mesići-Nova is constructed to operate for the next 70 years, bringing earnings of BAM 3 million (EUR 1.53 million) a year. It was built independently by Elektrodistribucija Pale, which covers the area of 13 municipalities. It is the most advanced run-of-river hydropower plant in the region,” Mrda said. Mesići-Nova has a capacity of 24 GWh per year and it consists of linked units: an intake and a supply tunnel with a flow profile of 4.9 square metres, which allows the flow of 12 cubic metres per second, a pressurized pipeline and the powerhouse, Srna agency said.
Vaptech, based in Bulgaria, said it delivered three identical vertical Francis turbines and three butterfly valves DN1100, PN10. Each of the turbines has 1.74 MW and works in estimated net head of 48.26 meters, flow of 4 cubic meters per second and the rated speed is 600 rounds per minute. The maximum efficiency of the turbines is 93.7%.
Just a few kilometres downstream from Mesići, two more mini hydro plants are being built on Prača river, 10 MW each.