Romania sells 17 small hydros to Austrian firm

Government utility Hidroelectrica S.A. has agreed to sell 17 small hydro projects in five groups totaling 10.586 MW to Wienstrom GmbH of Austria.

The Austrian firm agreed to pay 103.9 million lei (US$44.8 million) in a privatization auction. Hidroelectrica said the price was 2.3 times higher than the auction starting price. Terms of the auction also required the winning bidder to make rehabilitation investments in the projects.

Thirty-one companies purchased tender documents, Hidroelectrica said, from which nine submitted applications for pre-qualification. (HNN 4/1/08) Six of those firms were invited to bid in June.

Projects acquired by Wienstrom, by river basin groups, include:
o Moldova River, Suceava County: 470-kW FCL Campulung, 180-kW Izvorul Alb, 520-kW Pojorata, 394-kW Sihla (or Sahla), 205-kW Arinis, 190-kW Sadova; required rehabilitation investment 2.7 million lei (US$1.1 million);
o Dorna River, Suceava County: 1.886 MW Dornisoara, 541-kW Vorova; required rehabilitation investment 613,810 lei (US$260,287);
o Gurghiu River, Mures County: 90-kW Fancel 1, 90-kW Fancel 2, 132-kW Mesterita, 875-kW Isticeu; required rehabilitation investment 1.9 million lei (US$803,301);
o Oltet River, Gorj County: 750-kW Baia de Fier, 1.7-MW Oltet 1, 1.35-MW Oltet 2; required rehabilitation investment 2 million lei (US$845,580);
o Negrisoara River, Suceava County: 542-kW Sihastrie, 671-kW Darmoxa; required rehabilitation investment 521,050 lei (US$220,295).

Wienstrom acquired five other projects in an auction of 16 sites in March. (HNN 3/7/08) Those projects, in the Ilfov River Basin group in Dambovita County, included 220-kW Adunati, 196-kW Bunget 1, 220-kW Bunget 2, 182-kW Ilfoveni, 140-kW Bratesti.

Hidroelectrica said it plans to speed up the privatization process, with the remaining 69 small hydro projects to be sold by the beginning of 2009. It said it plans to initiate sale procedures soon for the next auction grouping, likely to be offered in September.

For information, contact Florin Masala, Head of Strategy and Privatization Dept., S.C. Hidroelectrica S.A., Str. Constantin Nacu, Nr. 3, Sector 2, RO-020995 Bucharest J40/7426/2000 Romania CUI RO 13267213; (40) 21-3032556; Fax: (40) 21-3074670; E-mail: florin.masala@hidroelectrica.ro; Internet: www.hidroelectrica.ro.

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