RWE Innogy, Republika Srpske – an entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina - and state-owned utility Elektroprivreda Republika Srpske (ERS) have entered into a strategic partnership in Banja Luka to develop, construct and operate four hydropower plants. The contracts were signed in the presence of Republika Srpska’s President Milorad Dodik.
Over the next few years, joint venture companies will develop four run-of-river power stations on the Drina, where installed power will total 210 megawatts (MW). Pending feasibility studies and planning approvals, it is hoped that construction of the first hydropower plant could begin in 2014, with a view to the completed series of power plants generating around 750 gigawatt-hours (GWh) annually. The construction time for all four run-of-river plants on the Upper Drina is estimated at around five years.
“For the Republika Srpska this project is of enormous economic and strategic relevance” said Republika Srpska’s President Milorad Dodik. “Together with RWE Innogy we will make use of the hydro power potential of the upper Drina".
“Hydropower is a key part of our strategy to expand the use of renewables” explained Dr. Hans Bünting, RWE Innogy CEO. “It gives us a common interest with south-eastern Europe, where vast potential exists for hydropower projects. The Republika Srpska recognised this years ago and has steadily expanded its hydro capacity ever since. We want to join in this expansion and are therefore contributing our long experience of hydro technology.”
If all goes well the first plant should be commissioned in 2019 according to Dr. Olaf Heil, Head of Hydro and New Technology at RWE Innogy. The company currently operates around 90 such plants in six countries.