German utility RWE AG (RWE) and Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske, the Bosnian Serb state-owned power company, will develop four hydro plants on the Drina river by 2020, expanding Elektroprivreda’s output by 15 percent.
The plants, with 220 megawatt combined capacity and expected production of 800 gigawatt hours a year, may cost about 460 million euros ($592 million) to build and will be developed by a joint venture 60 percent-owned by a unit of Essen-based RWE and 40 percent by Banja Luka-based Elektroprivreda, said Vladislav Vladicic, ERS’s executive director for investments and development, in a phone interview.
“Financing will be proportionate to ownership” in the joint venture. It will be from own assets and from bank loans,’’ Vladicic said before the signing of an agreement with RWE today in Banja Luka, the capital of Republika Srpska, the Serb half of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Construction of two larger plants, Buk Bijela and Foca, is to begin in September 2014 and March 2015 respectively, followed by the Paunci and Sutjeska plants, and may take six years to complete, Vladicic said.
“Hydropower is a key part of our strategy to expand the use of renewables,” said Hans Bünting, the head of RWE Innogy, said in an e-mailed statement after the utilities signed the partnership agreement. “It gives us a common interest with south-eastern Europe, where vast potential exists for hydropower projects.”
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