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Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Montenegro’s EPCG: Pioneering energy ventures in wind, hydropower and solar

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The Montenegro Power Utility (EPCG) is set to kick off construction of the Gvozd wind farm in July, with plans also in motion for Gvozd 2, a 30-megawatt (MW) expansion, as announced by Milutin Đukanović, the president of the Board of Directors of the state-owned power company.

“Based on our projections, construction was slated to commence a year ago. Unfortunately, we encountered permitting challenges. I won’t delve into the complexities surrounding bat conservation or deforestation… Nonetheless, those hurdles have been surmounted. Tenders have been issued. While we initially aimed for a late May start, we’ll have to push it to July 13 when we’ll be ready to initiate earthworks. Though initially planned for late May, the cancellation of a tender, specifically the public call for earthworks contractors, has led us to this delay. July 13 is now our target date. Some non-essential details may prolong certain processes, but as far as EPCG is concerned, we anticipate no impediments. However, it’s crucial for the entire state and local government, particularly state authorities, to collaborate with us in sync to expedite the development of the new Gvozd wind park. In an exclusive reveal, there’s a possibility of commencing work on another 30 MW project, Gvozd 2, concurrently,” Đukanović stated.

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In an interview with Forbes Montenegro, Đukanović also disclosed other notable investments, including the installation of an eighth unit at the Perućica Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) with a capacity of 54 MW, the diversion of the Zeta river floodwave to Krupac, and the construction of the Krupac-Slano tunnel, all poised to significantly bolster production.

Additionally, EPCG’s agenda encompasses the construction of the Kruševo HPP, for which documentation is currently being prepared.

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“We foresee minimal obstacles for Kruševo. Testing is underway, and plans are in motion to issue a public call. We expect that by the middle of next year, the technical documentation for the Kruševo HPP construction will be on par with that of Komarnica,” he remarked.

Addressing the Komarnica HPP, Đukanović emphasized that while it’s primarily a political decision, from a professional standpoint, EPCG advocates for its construction.

“Ultimately, this is a decision that rests on political shoulders, as they must consider a broader spectrum of factors. Personally, I believe a referendum should determine the fate of Komarnica, involving the residents of Šavnik, Plužine, Žabljak, or even the entirety of Montenegro. Nevertheless, from a professional perspective, Komarnica warrants development,” he emphasized.

On the matter of potential delays in the solar power plant tender at Briska Gora, Đukanović expressed confidence in EPCG’s commitment to participate, underscoring the significance of expanding Montenegro’s energy sources. He highlighted the urgency in embracing new projects, emphasizing the positive impact on energy production and the adoption of sustainable practices, positioning Montenegro as a leader in green transition initiatives.

Furthermore, Đukanović shed light on the acquisition of Željezara Nikšić’s assets by EPCG, stressing the untapped potential for solar power integration, alongside plans for urban development projects like Sunčani grad, which is expected to drive economic growth and enhance land value.

Wrapping up, Đukanović touched on the prospects of leveraging Bilećko Lake’s potential, emphasizing the importance of synchronized efforts with the Republic of Srpska’s Elektroprivreda (ERS) to harness the lake’s energy potential effectively while addressing water supply needs for Montenegro’s coastal regions.

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