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RWE Agrees to Strategic Collaboration with Serbian Energy Utility EPS

Published: September 11, 2012; 19:22 · (Vindobona)

The German energy group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding on further development of energy generation in Serbia. The focus will be on laid on hydropower.

RWE Agrees to Strategic Collaboration with Serbian Energy Utility EPS / Picture: © Vindobona.org

RWE and Serbian state-owned energy utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding over extensive collaboration on energy sector projects in Serbia. Serbian Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander Vucic, and Peter Terium, CEO of RWE AG signed the relevant MoU in the presence of German Economics Minister Dr. Philipp Rösler.

Peter Terium, CEO of RWE AG and Serbian Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander Vucic, signed a Memorandum of Understanding over extensive collaboration on energy sector projects in Serbia in the presence of German Minister of Economics Dr. Philipp Rösler (third from right).

The declaration of intent covers further development and enhancement of existing energy generation plants in the Serbian republic as well as planning, construction and operation of new power plants. Modernisation, extension and operation of run-of-river hydropower plants and expansion of an existing lignite-fired power plant with an adjacent lignite mine have been identified as the first joint projects. The hydropower plants with an installed capacity of around 920 megawatts (MW) are situated on the Drina and Danube rivers. The lignite-fired power plant 40 kilometres west of Belgrade is the biggest conventional power plant in the country with a current installed capacity of 1.240 MW.

Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia´s Deputy Prime Minister, declares: “I am delighted with today´s singing of this memorandum between RWE and EPS. It is the beginning of a wider strategic partnership that includes important energy generation projects in our country. Hydropower in particular offers great opportunities for cooperation.”

Peter Terium, CEO of RWE AG: “Serbia has a great need for modern power plant technology. At the same time, there are many resources to be leveraged there in both the renewables and conventional segment. Together with our collaborative partner EPS, we want to make the most of this strategically good starting point. In all energy technology segments, we have the necessary state-of-the-art expertise to help expand energy generation in this region in an efficient and environmentally sound manner.”

The Memorandum of Understanding signed today envisages a nine-month review phase to make a full technical and economic assessment of the existing power plants in Serbia. At the end of that nine-month period, a collaborative agreement will follow, which will specify the details of the projects to be undertaken and the respective responsibilities of the strategic partners.

Dr. Hans Bünting, CEO of RWE Innogy: “Our focus lies on maximisation of existing run-of-river hydropower plants in Serbia. By adopting targeted modernisation measures and streamlined business management practices, we will be able to enhance the efficiency of these plants. In addition we plan to extend the use of hydropower there even further. Unlike the situation in Germany, there is plenty of potential for expansion in the rivers of Serbia.”

In May 2011, RWE Innogy entered into a joint venture with EPS on the development of five hydropower plants on the Morava River with a total capacity of 150 MW. Feasibility studies are currently being conducted for these plants. Construction of a series of power plants could then begin from 2014. Once completed, the plants should be able to generate 650 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity. These projects will also be included in the Memorandum of Understanding signed today on long-term strategic collaboration with EPS.

“With our unique, European-wide expertise in the field of lignite-fired electricity generation, we are able to support our strategic partners with their modernisation and new-build projects. Enhancing plant efficiency and reducing carbon emissions will be the main focus of our contribution”, said Dr. Michael Fübi, CEO of RWE Technology.

EPS is a state-owned Serbian energy utility company employing around 34,000 staff – making it one of the biggest employers in the country. EPS has coal-fired, gas-fired and hydropower plants in Serbia with 8,359 MW of capacity, which it used to produce a total of 35,855 GWh of electricity in 2010. Hydropower currently makes up 2,835 MW of the total energy mix of EPS.

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