After more than 3 decades, decision is made envisaging the realization of the most important energy project in North Macedonia, Chebren power-plant

The Government of the Republic of North Macedonia discussed and adopted the Information from the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning for the Report of the evaluation made by the Commission for conducting the procedure of awarding concession for use of water for production of electricity and construction of hydro power-plants on Crna Reka.

Pursuant to the Report of the Commission, the Government at its 185th session, adopted the Decision for selection of the most favourable bid for awarding a concession for use of water for production of electricity with construction of hydro power-plants on Crna Reka. The concession is awarded to the bidder PUBLIC POWER CORPORATION S.A. - Greece & ARCHIRODON GROUP N.V. - Greece i.e., PPC-Archidoron and in pursuance with the tender documents and the agreement for concession which was part of the tender documents. 

According to the Report of the Commission for conducting the procedure for awarding of the subject concession, as stipulated in the Information, the bidder PPC-Archidoron is selected as the most favourable having in mind that the bidder met all conditions contained in the public call and the tender documents and submitted the most favourable bid. 

Following the Decision made, the selected bidder is obligated within 3 months to execute the Agreement for joint venture and establishing a Joint-Stock Company with JSC ESM, where JSC ESM will have 33% share in the capital. The registered company is obligated, in compliance with the Law on Waters, and before signing the agreement for concession, to secure a permit for use of the water. 

This decision enables realization of one of the largest and most important energy projects in the Republic of North Macedonia. The estimated value of the investment is at least EUR 1 billion and foresees a construction of reversible hydro power-plant Chebren with installed capacity of at least 333 MW. HPP Chebren is estimated to have the function of production of electricity, as well as reversible pumping system, thus envisaging the creation of a new artificial lake on Crna Reka, which will be the biggest in our country. 

Following the design and securing the necessary documents, it is expected to start the construction that is expected to last for 7 years. 

Chebren is of exceptional importance for the energy transition of North Macedonia and the region due to the possibility for balancing of the renewable energy sources. At the same time, it will be of immense importance for flood protection, water supply, agriculture, etc., because the dam will be 192 meters high and will be one of the highest in the world. 

The idea and the design of the large hydro power plant project Chebren started with the first feasibility studies conducted in the 60s of the past century. According to the Information of the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, these studies have started in 1964, and in 1986 agreements for preparation of the investment-technical documents were signed for the HPP Chebren. The last public call, before the current one, was published in 2016. In the period of the last 20 years, so far, there have been 13 unsuccessful tenders. The existing public call is 14th attempt to award the concession for Crna Reka.