Public water management company Srbijavode has launched a tendering procedure to lease locations for the construction of 18 small hydropower plants (SHPPs).
A single bid can refer to only one of the offered 18 locations for the construction of SHPPs. The deadline to file bids is September 21.
The largest number of locations, six in total, has been offered in Raška, followed by Kraljevo, Surdulica, and Bela Palanka with two locations each. Locations have also been offered in Arilje, Novi Pazar, Babušnica, Ivanjica, Trgovište, and Pirot.
The rivers on which locations for SHPPs are being offered include Panjica; Jasenska, Strainjska and Beloševa; Deževska; Grajićka and Vratišnjak; Garvanica; Ibar; Murgovica; Lisinska and Barska; Zečka; Planska – two locations; Gobeljska; Tripušnica; Novoselska; Raška; Visočica; and Nišava – two locations.
The land is being leased for a period of 10 years, renewable for another 10 years. Bidders can be legal entities, entrepreneurs, or individuals. A 10% deposit is required.
The invitation to bid contains parameters of the minimum required annual lease. The selection will be based on the highest offered lease for each of the locations.
Role of small hydropower plants under question mark
In the Western Balkan 6 (WB6) region, 200 small hydropower plants represent only 5% of the installed hydropower, which raises the question of the role of SHPPs and their contribution to the global energy production balanced with their multiple impacts on the environment, according to the European Commission’s conclusions from technical workshops held in the region in 2017, available on the Western Balkans Investment Framework’s (WBIF) website.
Some areas are of particular high value, and vulnerability, in terms of nature and biodiversity, and not all impacts of hydropower development can be mitigated in such areas. This opens the question whether to designate exclusion zones for hydropower development and the extension of the Natura 2000 network in the Western Balkans region, according to the conclusions.
The extended deadline to provide comments on the draft Principles for Sustainable Hydropower in the Western Balkans and on the draft Indicative List of Projects associated with the Regional Strategy for Sustainable Hydropower in the Western Balkans, an EU-funded study, expires on August 31.