Montenegro HPPs and breach of EIA SEA framework

, NGOs

Five projects have been reviewed in Montenegro, several of which involve multiple sites and dams / accumulations. Some of these projects have a long history, with the original design taking place many years ago.

HPP Morača consists of four conventional dams along the Morača River located at Andrijevo, Raslovići, Milunovići and Zlatica. A further 11 sites for multipurpose reservoirs are identified in the upper catchment but are not included in the current proposals. The scheme has the potential to affect Skadar Lake shared by Montenegro and Albania and thus raises transboundary issues. An EIA was commenced in February 2010, followed by an SEA and the review process is on-going. In 2011 the government sought a developer partner to construct the scheme, using conventional tender procedures. Some interest was expressed initially, but none of the parties followed through with a formal offer. Subsequent attempts to generate international interest in the scheme are also reported to have failed.

HPP Komarnica is planned as a peak demand power plant, with the capacity to generate high energy outputs over short periods. It lies upstream of the Piva HPP which serves the same function and was built almost 40 years ago. Although it occupies a gorge of great scenic, recreational and ecological interest, the Komarnica dam site has been identified in successive National Spatial Plans as a suitable location for hydropower generation. An EIA commenced in April 2012 and the review process is reported to be on-going. Work on the dam commenced in 2012, but ran into severe geological problems and construction has been suspended. The financial backer has also withdrawn pending completion of the geological surveys.

SHPP Rastak project involves construction of a dam as one of two SHPPs on the river Rastak. The EIA commenced in May 2012 and has been finalised.

SHPP Bistrica scheme involves two SHPPs and the EIA was completed in February 2013.

SHPP Orah’s EIA was commenced in May 2012 and has been completed.

source: WWF & SEE Change Net

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