Thanks to Germany’s KfW Development Bank, the Trans-Balkan Corridor power grid is expanding in South-Eastern Europe. The new power lines, transformer stations and switchgear will better connect the region and at the same time enable the use of more electricity from renewable sources.
KfW Development Bank just signed a further financing agreement for the expansion of the power grid in Serbia: on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU), KfW is going to finance a more than 100 kilometres long section between the city of Obrenovac – near Belgrade – and the town of Bajina Basta, further south.
The emerging of a modern transmission line system through Serbia, running in North-South, but also East-West directions enable a better standard service with higher energy efficiency and lower running costs. The project aims to serve a bigger plan that includes a submarine cable from Italy to the Balkans and connects Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Romania more closely with one another in terms of electricity.
“As a result, we obtain greater stability in the power supply for our customers and at the same time increase the possibilities to further develop and advance our energy supply,” said Jelena Matejić, Director of the Serbian Transmission System Operator (EMS).
KfW has also signed financing agreements with the Transmission System Operator of Montenegro (CGES) to extend further projects of the Trans-Balkan Corridor there, for example, to finance the new, almost completed transformer station Lastva, where the submarine cable from Italy arrives and further from there is a 150 kilometres long high-voltage road continues to Pljevlja, in the near of the Serbian border, which is financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
This newly signed agreement includes a concessional KfW development loan of 40 million euros and the EU is contributing with a grant of 12.8 million euros from its Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) as well. All in all, KfW is currently committed to expand the Trans-Balkan Corridor in Serbia and Montenegro with financing commitments of around 123.8 million euros.
“That the accession-candidates of the Western Balkans are getting closer to the EU at this level and working more closely together – connecting,” marked Achim Neumann, the responsible KfW portfolio manager.
It is obvious that KfW and its partners in Serbia and Montenegro are dedicated to achieve the following goals by expanding the Trans-Balkan Corridor: more power transmission capacities; more reliable and efficient transmission; higher security of supply and a better basis for the use of renewable energies. With their efforts, the Balkans are not only moving closer to the EU, but the new transmission lines are also promoting the trading volume on the South-East European electricity market, which has been limited so far by overloaded lines.