Austria-based EVN puts 175-MW Gorna Arda hydropower project in Bulgaria on hold

Due to changes in the energy policy environment in Bulgaria, Austria-based EVN said it is placing the 175-MW Gorna Arda hydropower plant project on hold because “its realization is not possible under the current circumstances,” according to EVN’s financial report released Feb. 28.

In 2009, Bulgarian electric utility NEK signed an agreement with EVN and Alpine Bau to build the plant in Bulgaria, estimated to cost about €350 million (US$372 million), close to the border with Turkey.

EVN has a 70% stake and NEK holds the remaining 30%, but EVN has seen significant losses.

“Impairment losses of 28.9 million euro (US$30.36 million) were therefore recognized during the reporting period,” according to EVN.

The project involved developing the Gorna Arda water cascade, which includes three new hydropower stations totaling 175 MW, and rehabilitation of three existing hydropower stations. Work on the existing stations, which total 274 MW, was expected to cost about US$32 million.

In January, reported European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will support €37 million (US$39.5 million) in costs for rehabilitation projects at the Belmeken-Sestrimo-Chaira hydro complex and Vacha-1 hydropower facility in Bulgaria.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for

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