Macedonia Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski declared March 16 that Austrian utility EVN won a tender for the privatization of Macedonia hydro utility Elektrostopanstvo na Makedonija (ESM).
EVN will pay 225 million euros (US$273.5 million) for 90 percent of the firm, which has 11 small hydro power plants. It also will invest 96 million euros (US$116.7 million) over the next three years.
EVN, Czech CEZ, and Italy’s Enel put in binding bids for ESM, which has 721,000 customers and sells 4.4 terawatt-hours per year.
The Macedonia power sector is being restructured in preparation for privatization, in which a separate transmission system and a market operator already have been established. The government also plans to separate ownership of generation from distribution. Last year, the World Bank recruited consultants to draft concession agreements for privatization of Macedonia’s hydroelectric plants.
In January, ESM awarded a contract to Riko DOO of Slovenia for turnkey construction of the 36.4-MW St. Petka hydroelectric project.