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Biggest Chinese hydroelectric power plant in Western Balkans begins construction

The construction of the Dabar hydroelectric power plant (HPP), developed by the Chinese engineering and construction company Gezuba Group, was officially inaugurated on 24 June.

Worth 338 million euros, the hydroelectric power plant will have a capacity of 160 megawatts (MW), alongside a 12.5-kilometre-long tunnel, becoming the largest project of its kind in the Western Balkans in the past 30 years.

Republika Srpska’s Prime Minister, Radovan Višković said that all procedures with the Chinese partners regarding the plant’s construction have been completed. Gezuba Group now has a 46-month deadline to commission the hydroelectric power plant.

PM Višković pointed out that the project is in line with EU directives on the production of green energy, with the share of renewables set to significantly increase once HPP Dabar is commissioned.

The contract for the project was signed in May 2020, with the Republika Srpska government providing an 85 per cent guarantee of the contract’s value, while state-owned power company Elektroprivreda Republika Srpska (ERS) contributed 15 per cent, along with other fees.

The Dabar HPP system belongs to the hydropower system, operated by ERS’s subsidiary company Hydroelectric Power Plants on Trebišnjica (Hidroelektrane na Trebišnjici), and is the most important hydroelectric power plant in the Gornji Horizonti system. The Dabar HPP system includes the Nevesinja reservoir, which can hold 61.80 million cubic metres of water.

Alongside the Dabar HPP, the system also foresees the construction of HPP Bileća and HPP Nevesinje, ERS said in a press release.

The project’s inauguration in the southern town of Vrijek near Bileća was attended by Srpska’s Energy and Mining Minister, Petar Đokić, Chinese Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ji Ping and General Director of ERS, Luka Petrović.

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