HPPs Foča, Paunci, Buk Bijela to be built as part of a EUR 390 million investment

Serbia and Republika Srpska (RS), the Serb entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, intends to build two hydropower plants (HPPs), Paunci and Foča on the Drina River, worth EUR 200 million, while Republika Srpska plans to independently start construction of HPP Buk Bijela, an investment of EUR 190 million.


Serbian Energy and Mining Minister, Aleksandar Antić, said during the meeting of the Joint Energy Committee between Serbia and Republika Srpska, held on August 22, that an agreement on the construction of two HPPs, Foča and Paunci, was drafted. Antić also noted that preparation of all the necessary studies and documentation will be accelerated. According to the previous projections, the two HPPs will have an installed capacity of 95 MW and the investment reaches a total of EUR 200 million.

Two sides also composed a joint team for the implementation of the two HPPs and defined the necessary steps for the development of the projects, said Antić.

He noted that state-owned power utilities Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) and Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (ERS) will be in charge of the development of these projects.

Antić said that the Joint Energy Committee between Serbia and Republika Srpska was established with the aim to improve energy cooperation between Serbia and Republika Srpska, as well as to strengthen relations and develop joint projects in the interest of Serbia and the Serb entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The meeting was also attended by the general managers of Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske and Elektroprivreda Srbije, Radmila Čičković and Milorad Grčić.

Republika Srpska’s industry, energy and mining minister added that it was agreed that at the next joint session of the governments of the Serbia and Republika Srpska, which will be held in a few weeks, the decision to start joint construction of HPPs Foča and Paunci will be adopted.

HPP Foča will have an installed capacity of 44.15 MW and average annual output of 175.9 GWh of electricity, while HPP Paunci will generate 166.9 GWh of electricity annually with an installed capacity of 43.21 MW.


Company for the HPP Buk Bijela construction established

Following a session of the Serbia-Republika Srpska energy committee, the Republika Srpska’s energy minister, Petar Đokić, announced that a public invitation for the construction of the HPP Buk Bijela will be launched soon.

In the meantime, it was decided to raise the installed capacity of the HPP Buk Bijela, from the planned 93.5 MW to 120 MW or even 125 MW, which will wrap up the project, Đokić said.

Several weeks earlier, the ERS director Radmila Čičković, and the director of the power utility Hidroelektrane na Drini Nedeljko Perišić signed a contract on the establishment of a Foča-based joint venture, Hidroelektrana Buk Bijela, for the production and sale of electricity. Branislava Milekic will serve as acting director of Hidroelektrana Buk Bijela.

The newly established company is majority owned by Hidroelektrane na Drini, which holds 80% of the shares, while ERS has 20%. Hidroelektrane na Drini is a subsidiary of ERS.

After the signing of the contract, Perišić, the director of Hidroelektrane na Drini, expressed his satisfaction that Hidroelektrana Buk Bijela has finally been established.

As the majority owner, Hidroelektrane na Drini will make every effort to comply with the planned schedule, he said.

The HPP Buk Bijela is located on the upper course of the Drina River, about 11.6 kilometers upstream from Foča. The Republika Srpska government has granted a concession for the construction of the HPP Buk Bijela for a period of 50 years to ERS.

The estimated value of the project to build HPP Buk Bijela, with the installation of the 3 hydro generators with a total capacity of 93 MW and the expected average annual electricity generation at around 330 GWh, is EUR 190 million.

The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining is preparing tendering documents for designing, constructing, and securing financial resources through a loan.

In July last year, the Republika Srpska’s government and China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation (AVIC-ENG) signed a memorandum of cooperation on the construction of HPP Buk Bijela.


Drina River’s unexploited renewable energy potential

In total 4 HPPs have been built on the Drina River so far – HPP Višegrad, HPP Bajina Bašta, Bajina Bašta pumped-storage power plant and HPP Zvornik with a total installed power of 1,450 MW and an average annual electricity generation of around 3,700 GWh.

Power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije generates 30% of its electricity in hydropower plants. It operates 3 HPPs on the Drina river – HPP Bajina Bašta, pumped-storage HPP Bajina Bašta and HPP Zvornik while Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske has one, HPP Višegrad.

The Drina river occupies the central part of the Balkans and is the largest tributary of the Sava river. The length of Drina is about 341 kilometers. In the middle and lower course, the river is a border between Republika Srpska, Serb entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.

According to ERS’ website, the Drina River Basin represents a significant unexploited hydropower generation capacity in the Balkans. This potential is enough to build HPPs with installed capacity of 3,626 MW in the part that belongs to Republika Srpska.

According to ERS, the use of the hydropower generation capacity on the upper course of the Drina River and the Sutjeska River on the territory of the Republic of Srpska is envisaged by the construction of the Hydropower system of Upper Drina (Upper Drina project). Upper Drina comprises of the construction of 4 HPPs – Buk Bijela, Foča and Paunci on the Drina River and Jelovački Krš on the Sutjeska River.

In the middle course of the Drina River ERS has planned 3 HPPs – Rogačica, Tegare and Dubravica. The hydropower generation capacity is divided into a 50:50 ratio between the Republika Srpska and Serbia. In September 2011, Elektroprivreda Srbije and Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske signed a preliminary agreement on the construction of these 3 HPPs with Italian energy company, Seci Energia.

In November last year, Serbian Energy Minister, Aleksandar Antić, said that the Italians have delayed the agreement for many years. The time has come to break this deadlock and build HPPs, Antić said, but he did not mention the next steps.

The hydropower generation capacity on the lower course of the Drina River is also divided in the ratio of 50:50 between Republika Srpska and Serbia. In this part, the construction of 4 HPPs is planned – Kozluk, Drina 1, Drina 2 and Drina 3. So far, there have been no agreements for the implementation of these HPPs.



Existing HPPs on tne Drina River

HPP    capacity          average annual generation        company

Višegrad          315 MW         1,010 GWh     Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske

Bajina Bašta    420 MW         1,500 GWh     Elektroprivreda Srbije

Bajina Bašta*  614 MW         700 GWh        Elektroprivreda Srbije

Zvornik                       103 MW         500 GWh        Elektroprivreda Srbije

*pumped-storage HPP



Upper Drina project*

HPP    capacity          average annual generation

Buk Bijela       93,52 MW      332,30 GWh

Foča    44,15 MW      175,9 GWh

Paunci 43,21 MW      166,90 GWh

Sutjeska           44,08 MW      195,62 GWh




Middle Drina project*

HPP    capacity          average annual generation

Rogačica          113,28 MW    413,42 GWh

Tegare             120,94 MW    448,05 GWh

Dubravica        87,23 MW      335,48 GWh




Lower Drina project*

HPP    capacity          average annual generation

Kozluk                        88,5 MW        376 GWh

Drina 1                        87,7 MW        363,7 GWh

Drina 2                        87,8 MW        379,8GWh

Drina 3                        101 MW         469,1 GWh


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