European bank lends Macedonia funds to build 70-MW Boskov Most

SKOPJE, Macedonia 11/15/11 (PennWell) -- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has agreed to lend 65 million euros (US$88.4 million) to Macedonia for construction of the 70-MW Boskov Most hydroelectric project in western Macedonia.

The government of Macedonia said in September that it plans to seek bids for design and construction of Boskov Most on the Mala Reka River. (HydroWorld 9/23/11) The government invited applications for pre-qualification in 2007 to build Boskov Most, also spelled Boshkov Most, on a build-operate-transfer basis near Debar.

EBRD extended the sovereign loan to state-owned utility AD Elektrani na Makedonija (Elem). The loan is complemented by 340,000 euros (US$462,553) in grant financing from the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund for technical and environmental due diligence.

The project is to include a stone dam, diversion channels, a tunnel, pipeline, and powerhouse. With funding from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, a 2003 feasibility study of the then 45-MW project, recommended it be increased in capacity to 70 MW and be redesigned as a peaking plant.

EBRD said construction of Boskov Most will enable Macedonia to reduce electricity imports and cut the country's carbon intensity by 95,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

"Realization of this project shall contribute to achieving the EU criterion of 20 percent of total electricity generation from renewable energy sources by 2010," Elem General Manager Vlatko Chingoski said.

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