Greek consortium wins bid to build 333MW hydropower plant in North Macedonia

A consortium composed of the Public Power Corp. (PPC), Greece’s dominant power utility, and multinational construction contractor Archirodon, has been awarded the right to build and commercially exploit a major hydroelectric project in the Republic of North Macedonia, one valued at one billion euros.

The country’s Cabinet approved and announced the decision on Thursday for the long-awaited Čebren hydroelectric project, which will include the Republic of North Macedonia’s state-run power utility as a stake-holder.

The planned 333-458 MW hydropower plant, with an annual production of 1,000-1,200 GWh, will be implemented as a public-private partnership with state power utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM), with the latter holding a 33-percent stake.

According to reports, the PPC-Archidoron consortium submitted the sole accepted bid in the latest tendering process, although a total of nine candidates had qualified for the second phase of tendering. The only other bid submitted by French energy group Électricité de France (EDF).

The contract was finally awarded following after more than a dozen failed tenders over the past 20 years, the North Macedonia government stated.

The selected bidder now has three months to set up a joint venture with ESM.

The Čebren project includes building a new artificial lake on the Crna Reka River, which will be the largest in the land-locked country located between Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Albania. A 192-meter dam for the Čebren hydropower plant will be one of the highest in the world, the government underlined, noting that the project was of immense importance for flood prevention, water supply and farm irrigation.