Macedonia sees construction of 450 small hydro projects

Macedonia Economy Minister Fatmir Besimi announced the government envisages construction of about 450 small hydropower projects totaling 250 MW.

Besimi told a March 16 news conference at the Ministry of Economy that the projects, of up to 5 MW each, are expected to generate a total of 1,200 gigawatt-hours for a total investment of 300 million euros (US$390 million).

Besimi, who was joined by Deputy Minister Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov and State Secretary Katerina Kosteska, said total investments of 62 million euros (US$80.7 million) are expected upon completion of the first two phases of the ministry’s small hydropower concession program. The government offers 20-year concessions for development on a design-build-operate-transfer basis.

Three international calls for bids were issued from 2006-2008. A total of 41 sites totaling 43.7 MW were granted under the first call, for an expected investment of 45 million euros (US$58.6 million). Twenty-four sites were granted in the second call, totaling 15.4 MW with expected investment of 17 million euros (US$22.1 million).

The ministry said concession agreements are prepared for signing, under the first and second calls, after Macedonian elections.

A third call is under way, seeking bids for concessions to develop 20 hydropower projects of up to 5 MW each. Bids due April 16. (HydroWorld 1/6/09)

The ministry said a fourth call for bids is being prepared, covering 20 to 30 small hydro projects in the confluence of the Vardar, Bregalnica, Strumica, and Crn Drim rivers, using the design-build-operate-transfer model. It said the call is to be issued after the election process.

For information, contact Viktor Andonov, Ministry of Economy, Republic of Macedonia, Jurij Gagarain N.15, MK-1000 Skopje, Macedonia; (389) 2-3093446; Fax: (389) 2-3084902; E-mail: viktor.andonov@economy.gov.mk; Internet: www.economy.gov.mk.

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