RWE, HSE to bid for Macedonia hydropower projects

Germany’s biggest power producer, RWE Power AG, said October 11 it has agreed with Slovenia hydro utility Holding Slovenske Elektrarne (HSE d.o.o.) to bid jointly for hydroelectric projects in Macedonia.

“We are convinced that the agreed cooperation will be to the benefit of both parties,” Chief Executive Jan Zilius of RWE Power said. “It is the aim of RWE to build up a balanced portfolio of power production and electricity distribution in the region.”

Zilius said the memorandum of understanding initially focuses on electricity generation projects in Macedonia and Slovenia.

In a first step, RWE said they agreed to express interest jointly in the construction and operation of three large hydropower projects in Macedonia.

RWE said Austrian utility KELAG, a minority shareholding of RWE, also would benefit from the venture. It said KELAG hydro engineers would be involved in developing the Macedonia projects.

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. (HNN 3/21/06)

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