Slovenian energy company Petrol has officially unveiled the Jeleč small hydropower plant (SHPP) on the Govza river near Foča in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The concessionaire invested EUR 6.25 million in the 4.8 MW hydropower plant.
Jeleč, a two-turbine plant, is planned to produce between 14 GWh and 18 GWh of electricity annually, which is sufficient to supply 4,000 households.
Best known as an oil company and a fuel retailer with a network of filling stations in the region, Petrol has four other SHPPs alongside Jeleč. The four SHPPs in Fojnica, BiH have a combined installed capacity of around 6 MW. Petrol also operates a 20.7 MW wind farm in Šibenik, Croatia. The facilities generate around 80 GWh of electricity annually, enough to cover the electricity consumption of 20,000 households.
At the SHPP Jeleč ribbon-cutting ceremony, Republika Srpska Minister of Industry, Energy, and Mining Petar Đokić recalled that around 20 small hydropower plants have launched production in the entity in the past three years, with another 14 SHPPs currently under construction.
“At the same time, we are conducting preparations to start works on large energy facilities, such as the Buk Bijela hydropower plant on the Drina, and I hope we will be able to launch tendering soon to select the partner for the plant’s construction,” Đokić said.
Rok Vodnik, a managing board member at Petrol, said that he is certain the group will continue investing in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency projects, according to a statement from the Republika Srpska government.
For his part, Foča Mayor Radisav Mašić said that Jeleč is the fourth hydropower plant built on the municipality’s territory in the past four years.
“This SHPP, too, is expected to bring benefits to the residents of Jeleč, the local community, and Republika Srpska. It will help improve the road infrastructure and secure electricity production,” said Mašić, adding that this new hydropower capacity means a boost to the municipal coffers thanks to the concession fee that will be collected.
The statement adds that Mašić said that he is pleased over the announced projects to build HPPs Buk Bijela, Foča, and Paunci on the Drina river.