Nine small plants in Bulgaria win carbon credits approval

Nine small hydropower plants, totaling 25.7 MW, on Bulgaria’s Iskar River, have won approval to sell carbon credits under the United Nations’ Joint Implementation program.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved loans of 54 million euros (US$80 million) in 2007 for construction of the run-of-river Vez Svoghe Mini-Hydro project. (HNN 11/29/07)

The project is planned for a 33-kilometer stretch of the Iskar by Vez Svoghe Ltd., owned 90 percent by Petrolvilla Bulgaria and 10 percent by the municipality of Svoghe, comprising 33 towns of 24,000 people. Petrolvilla Bulgaria is a subsidiary of Italian energy developer Petrolvilla &Bortolotti S.p.A.

Vez Svoghe has been found in compliance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change under the Joint Implementation program, which focuses on carbon reduction efforts in developed countries. The nine plants are expected to offset 371 kilotons of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel generation through 2012.

EBRD is to purchase the carbon credits on behalf of the Netherlands through the bank-administered Netherlands Emissions Reduction Cooperation Fund. An initial batch of credits is expected for delivery at the beginning of the year. The Netherlands is to use the credits to help fulfill its emissions reduction commitment under the Kyoto Protocol intended to stem global warming.

The Lakatnik, Svrazhen, Opeltnya, Levishte, and Gabrovnitsa plants are to be built in a cascade. Another cascade is to include Bov South and Bov North. The other two individual plants in the project are Prokopanik and Tserovo.

The plants are to include concrete weirs ranging from 6.5 to 11.1 meters tall, with valves and slide gates to stop sediment buildup, and fish passage structures. The power plants are to be fully automated to maintain a constant water level and to avoid flooding. The plants’ total annual generation of 137.2 million kilowatt-hours will be delivered to Bulgaria’s national grid.

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