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Montenegro: Ongoing and Future Energy Projects

Montenegro: Ongoing and Future Energy Projects

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According to windeurope.org data, Montenegro was at the top of the list of European countries in terms of the percentage of energy generated by wind farms on April 17, 2022. On that day, the two Montenegrin wind farms, Mozura and Krnovo, produced 45% of Montenegro’s total electricity needs.

Could It Be Every Day?

Montenegro currently hosts the Krnovo wind farm, with an installed capacity of 72 megawatts, and the Mozura wind farm, with a capacity of 46 megawatts. They will soon be joined by the Gvozd wind farm, for an estimated 54 megawatts, while the 100-megawatt Brajici wind farm is also planned.

The undersea interconnection with Italy currently allows a bi-directional exchange of electricity between the two countries, with a capacity of 600 megawatts, to become 1,200 megawatts with the laying of a second cable in the next few years. This project will facilitate the development of power interconnections among European countries by enhancing power transmission efficiency. At the same time, it positioned Montenegro as a regional hub for power interconnectivity.

Montenegro has favorable climatic conditions with an average of 240 sunny days yearly and significant amounts of wind. By investing in solar and wind in the future, Montenegro could very quickly transform its electricity industry and realize the Brussels imperative of decarbonization relatively painlessly. And that is exactly the direction that ongoing and future projects in electricity infrastructure are taking.

Ongoing Projects Overview

1. The Briska Gora Solar Power Plant – the contract for the long-term lease of state-owned land for its construction was signed in December 2018. The investor is a consortium consisting of EPCG (the national energy company), Fortum, and Sterling & Wilson. The contract was concluded for a period of 30 years, with a EUR 200 million investment value. The investor has to project, construct, and manage a solar power plant with an installed capacity of 250 megawatts.

2. The Brajici Wind Power Plant – the 30-year contract for the long-term lease of state-owned land was signed in August 2020. Germany’s WPD should invest EUR 100 million to project, construct, and manage a new 101-megawatt wind farm.

3. The Gvozd Wind Power Plant – the construction of WPP Gvozd represents the continuation of the second phase of construction of the WPP Krnovo plant, already a part of the Montenegrin production system. It is currently under development by EPCG and Austria’s Ivicom. Based on preliminary data, the value is EUR 80 million for an installed capacity of 54.6 megawatts. A pre-qualification tender is currently underway, under EBRD rules.

4. The Komarnica Hydro Power Plant – the contract for the development of a conceptual design with a feasibility study and environmental impact assessment, worth EUR 1.3 million, was signed in 2018. The completion of these activities is scheduled for the middle of 2022. According to preliminary data, the project is valued between EUR 260 and 290 million, with an installed capacity of 155 megawatts and an annual production of about 210 gigawatts.

5. The Ecological Reconstruction of TPP Pljevlja – the ecological reconstruction implies the construction of the nitrogen oxides reduction, desulfurization, and wastewater treatment systems, the reconstruction of the inner ash and slag transport system as well as an auxiliary boiler room, etc. It will provide a heating source for the town of Pljevlja, while also addressing the current ecological issues. The project should last about two and a half years, or until October 2024. It will be financed by EPCG, with an estimated value of EUR 75 million.

Future Projects Overview

1. Small Scale Solar Plants – considering the potential of solar energy in the country, there are plans to develop such projects in the western part of Montenegro. The research phase is ongoing, and results should be available soon.

2. The Slano Floating Solar Power Plant – the floating solar plant on lake Slano would be the first one of this type in Montenegro. The plan is to construct a solar power plant with a 50-megawatt installed capacity. The investor is EPCG, with the project in its research phase.

3. The Velje Brdo Solar Power Plant – another potential project is that of Velje Brdo, near Podgorica. The existing spatial plan predicts building a solar power plant with a 50-megawatt installed capacity, with a possibility for extension. The planned location is owned by the state and the Municipality of Podgorica.

By Jelena Vujisic, Senior Partner, and Olivera Brajovic, Senior Associate, Vujacic Law Office

This Article was originally published in Issue 9.6 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the magazine, you can subscribe here.