Serbia approves plans for global scale solar park
* Plans 1 gigawatt project
* Park seen on stream in Dec. 2015
* Electricity produced aimed for export
SARAJEVO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Serbia has approved Luxembourg-based Securum Equity Partners' final plan to start building a solar park next April that could make it one of the largest in the world when completed, an official for the equity group said on Wednesday.
Ivan Matejak, the head of the company's Western Balkans unit, told Reuters the total investment in the 1 gigawatt project located in the south of the Balkan country would hit 1.75 billion euro ($2.27 billion).
The park covering an area of 3,000 hectares (6,600 acres) would produce 1.15 terawatt-hours of electricity per year destined for export to Western Europe markets over the expected 25-years it would be in operation, he added.
"Our plan is to connect to the grid 40 MW monthly until the park goes fully on stream in December, 2015," Matejak said in a telephone interview.
The MX Group South East Europe will provide photovoltaic panels with technology from Italy-based MX Group SpA while Italy's Fimer SpA will provide technology for inverters, he said.
Serbia produces two-thirds of its electricity in ageing coal-fired plants and the rest from hydro power.
It urgently needs to upgrade its energy infrastructure, which was damaged and mismanaged during the Balkan wars of the 1990s and improve its energy mix to meet the growing demand and reduce future reliance on imports. ($1 = 0.7705 euros) (Reporting By Maja Zuvela; Editing by Michael Kahn)
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