The biggest private hydro-power project in Bulgaria is likely to kick off soon, after its majority owner, EVN, said it was launching a procedure for environmental impact assessment. The construction of the 170-megawatt Upper Arda hydro-power cascade is planned to start next year, with the first electricity likely to be generated in five years. It is yet to be decided which of the three hydro-power plants will be built first.
Shareholders in the 350 million euro project are Austria's EVN (70%) and state-owned National Electric Company (NEK, 30%). NEK has already contributed assets worth 25 million leva (about 12.5 million euro) to the joint venture's capital. The company declined information on how it would finance the rest of its share of the investment.
This will be the second environmental impact assessment of the Upper Arda cascade. The project was first launched in 1999, when NEK's investment partner was Turkey's Ceylan Holding. However, construction works never started due to Ceylan's financial difficulties.
Read more in Bulgarian here.