EPBiH gets concession for future 13 MW hydropower plant
* Government awards a 30-year concession to EPBiH
* Work on 13 MW hydropower plant to start in mid-2015
* Final selection of bidders for 20 MW hydropwer plant in mid-August
SARAJEVO, May 30 (Reuters) - Bosnia's top power utility EPBiH will build and manage the 13 megawatt Janjici hydropower plant on the river Bosna in central Bosnia, estimated to cost 72.2 million Bosnian marka ($50 million), officials said on Friday.
The government of Bosnia's autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation, EPBiH's majority owner, signed a contract with the utility granting it a concession for 30 years, with the possibility of extending the deal.
The project will be financed with a 30 million euro ($40.85 million) loan from the German state-owned development bank KfW and should start in the second half of 2015, Energy Minister Erdal Trhulj told a news conference.
EPBiH will provide the remainder of the cost for the plant with an expected annual output of 68 gigawatt hours (GWh).
The utility will make a one-off payment of 1.57 million Bosnian marka for the concession, accounting for a little more than 2 percent of the project's total value. It will pay an annual concession fee of 2.43 percent of the total revenue generated through the sale of electricity, EPBiH General Manager Elvedin Grabovica said.
Grabovica also said that EPBiH has selected eight out of 12 companies that applied to pre-qualify for a contract to build a 20 megawatt Vranduk hydropower plant also on the Bosna river, which will produce 96.4 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity.
He said the pre-qualification list will now be forwarded for approval to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which had extended a 26 million euro loan for the estimated 127 million marka project.
Another 37.5 million euros for the project will be secured from the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the remainder from EPBiH.
Grabovica declined to name the companies but said he hoped that final bidder could be chosen by mid-August.
EPBiH, the largest of Bosnia's three power utilities, operates two coal-fired plants and three hydropower plants with a combined capacity of 1,165 MW and 517 MW, respectively. (Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Stephen Addison)