Boškov Most Hydro Power Plant

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Boskov Most
Location Boskov Most, Macedonia
Coordinates 41°33′5.45″N 20°36′52.48″E / 41.5515139°N 20.6145778°E / 41.5515139; 20.6145778Coordinates: 41°33′5.45″N 20°36′52.48″E / 41.5515139°N 20.6145778°E / 41.5515139; 20.6145778
Type reservoir
Basin countries Macedonia

Boškov Most Hydro Power Plant, hereinafter referred to as Boškov Most HPP, is planned to be built in Mala Reka valley in the southernmost part of the Mavrovo National Park. It will have a total capacity of 70 MW.[1] The project threatens the survival of the Balkan lynx.[2] The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) agreed in November 2011 to lend EUR 65 million to Macedonia for the construction of the dam.[3]

General information[edit]

Boškov Most HPP will be built near the town of Debar in the western part of the country and will have a generating capacity of 70 MW.[4] It is intended to utilise the hydro power potential of the tributaries of the river Mala Reka and will include a dam and a reservoir near the village of Tresonce.[3] It is estimated that it will produce 117 GW of power per year.[5] Plans to build the Boskov Most HPP date back to 1983 but it was postponed several times due to financial problems.[6]

In November 2011 European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed on loaning a country EUR 65 million for the construction of the project.[3] The rest is to be provided by the AD Elektrani na Makedonija (ELEM).[6]

ELEM is a 100% state owned electric power utility of Macedonia responsible for mining and power generation. It was formed in 2005 and currently carries out mining operations in four coal mines and operates 1,329 MW of power generating capacity, of which 60% is lignite-fired and 40% hydropower.[3]

In 2011 it was estimated that the total cost of the project was to be EUR 84 million however,[3] in 2014 that figure rose to EUR 107 million.[2]

The importance of the project for the Macedonian energy sector[edit]

Unfavourable energy mix, strong dependence on energy import, obsolete energy system and inefficiency in energy production and use are the main problems of the Macedonian energy sector.[7] Macedonia imports roughly a quarter of its annual electricity needs.[6] Domestic energy production is based mainly on the low-quality domestic lignite, biomass and hydro.[7] The purpose of the Boškov most HPP is to support Macedonia's drive to improve the security and quality of its energy supplies, as well as promoting renewable sources of energy generation. Once operating, the plant will enable the nation to reduce electricity imports and in addition decrease the carbon intensity of the Macedonian generation sector.[3][4]

Controversial issues[edit]

Environmental impact[edit]

The Mavrovo National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Europe, famous for its pristine nature. The park hosts more than 1,000 different plant species. Trout species, wolves, bears and otters are an important part of the ecosystem. The park is also a centre of the remaining population of the Balkan Lynx, an endangered subspecies of the Eurasian Lynx.[1] The territory where it moves is thus a critical habitat and represents an area where measures for protection and preservation of this species should be undertaken.[2] Putting any additional stress on this source population may lead to the extinction of the species.[1]

Boškov HPP is designed to produce peak energy which means that the water from Mala Reka river and its tributaries will be diverted into a reservoir and on demand released once a day. Aside from the fact that the entire valley will suffer from the diversion of the majority of its natural water supplies, it will also result in daily flushes, which have enormous negative impacts on biodiversity and species populations in the river sections below the HPP.[2]

Legal issues[edit]

The Environmental impact assessment prepared for the project is lacking significant information vital for the precise and objective evaluation of the impact of the project on the environmnt, specifically data on the mammals in the project area and complete absence of the Balkan lynx from the study.[2]

The project is also not in accordance with Law on Nature protection specifically with Article 74, which does not envisage the use of natural resources for energy as a part of national park management and Article 75 which lists the prohibited activities in the national park. Furthermore, the project is not in accordance with the following international conventions signed and ratified by the government of Macedonia: Bern Convention, Bonn Convention and Convention on Biodiversity.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Dam construction plans put national park at risk". Save the blue heart of Europe. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f The hydropower plant Boskov Most. CEE Bankwatch. May 2014, Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Project summary - Boskov Most hydro power project". Retrieved 20 August 201.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ a b "EBRD to provide finance for hydro power plant in Macedonia.". Power-technology.com. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Loan agreed for Boskov Most project, Macedonia.". Water Power & Dam Construction. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Marusic, Sinisa Jakov (11 November 2011). "Macedonia Signs Deal to Build Hydro Power Plant". Balkan insight. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Ćosić, Boris; Krajačić, Goran; Duić., Neven (29 June 2012). "A 100% renewable energy system in the year 2050: The case of Macedonia.". Elsevier. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 

External links[edit]