Source: eKapija | Thursday, 26.01.2017.| 14:29
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2016 RETROSPECTIVE – Investments in ENERGY which have caused the greatest interest among eKapija users

The investment team of eKapija has performed the analysis and formed the list of investments and investment ideas which caused the greatest interest among our users in 2016. The results are very interesting, some of them expected, though there are lots of surprises as well, which is why we've decided to share the information with you.

We present the most interesting projects in the ENERGY category.

The year 2016 was the first one during which the new Energy Development Strategy, adopted in late 2015, was in effect, with the aim of defining the direction of the development of this sector in Serbia until 2025.

The state aims, as the document says, to secure a reliable, safe, efficient and quality supply of energy and energy sources. One of the strategy's most important elements is an increase in the share of energy from renewable sources, as well as enhanced environmental protection.

Serbia is currently getting around a fifth of its energy from RES, and the National Action Plan for RES envisions a share of 27% in the gross final energy consumption by 2020.

As 2020 is drawing closer, it shouldn't be a surprise that the list of the most read news from the energy sector on eKapija each year contains more investments in sustainable, “green” energy.

It is also noticeable that 2016 has passed without the implementation of big investments in electrical energy potentials of Serbia and that the list before you doesn't feature a single investment in sun and water energy utilization, although mini hydro power plants and solar parks have often been pointed out as Serbia's potential.

Serbia's RES potential is indisputable, but the discrepancy between the possibilities and the utilization of the capacities is still considerable.

The list of those who have shown interest in investing in energy is rather long, and it's interesting to note that certain investors, and even certain investments, featured on eKapija's 2015 list appeared on the 2016 list as well.

Opening of La Piccolina wind farm
Just like in 2015, the investments of MK Fintel Wind drew the most interest from our readers in 2016. The company opened the first wind farm in Southern Banat on October 3, 2016. Around EUR 10 million was invested in the La Piccolina project in Zagajica near Vrsac, with the total installed power of 6.6 MW. As said on the occasion, the wind farm will be supplying around 5,500 households with electricity.

The fact that this Serbian-Italian company has big plans for 2017 as well is shown by the preparatory works for the company's largest project in Serbia so far, currently in progress. The project in question is called Kosava, and is also being carried out near Vrsac and will have 117 MW of power in total.

– We are working on preparations for the beginning of the construction of the Kosava wind farm. This is the next serious challenge lying ahead of us. The organization of the construction, the construction itself, as well as the installation of such a large wind farm, will be a very demanding endeavor – said Tiziano Giovannetti, CEO of MK Fintel Wind, in late 2016 and added that they were planning to build new wind farms in the future.

One of them will be the Ram wind farm in Veliko Gradiste, which should generate green power for around 7,000 households.

The second place belongs to the announcement of the construction of a thermal power plant and heating plant in Loznica, an investment worth EUR 230 million.

The projects should be jointly realized by the British company Scarborough Group International and China National Electric (CNEEC). According to the agreement, the construction of the 240 MW facility will be fully in charge of CNEEC. The first phase of the project (120 MW) could be completed by late 2018, and the second phase (the remaining 120 MW) should begin a year later.

Experts say that, if the facility is to use gas instead of coal, it will be a very significant project, especially considering the fact that certain production facilities in power plants in Serbia have been planned to close down.

The construction of this thermal power plant has been expected since 2007, when a part of Loznica's Viskoza was bought by the Italian company Decotra, which now has a joint company with the Scarborough Group. A year later, the Italians announced an investment of EUR 87 million in the construction of a thermal power plant and heating plant with 110 MW of electrical power and 78 MW of thermal power.

The largest oil company in Serbia, NIS, placed third. However, the projects which caused interest among eKapija readers are not connected to the company's core activities, but to investments in the field related to the two first spots on the list.

(Photo: nis.rs)
As the Serbian-Russian company said in late 2016, all the necessary permits for the construction of the Plandiste wind farm by the company NIS Energowind have been acquired. NIS Energowind is owned by NIS and private investors in equal shares. The project in question has the capacity of 102 MW and has been estimated to around EUR 160 million.

This project, along with the construction of a thermal power plant and heating plant in Pancevo, has been included in the 2017 business plan of NIS. The Pancevo project should be completed in two years and have the capacity of 140 MW, and the construction will cost RSD 18 billion.

This thermal power plant will produce electricity for the needs of NIS' refinery and Pancevo's Petrohemija, and will supply the citizens of Pancevo with thermal energy.

That investors see wind power as a good opportunity to earn money is shown by the fact that the list features another two wind farm projects. Belgium's WindVision, which plans to raise two facilities with around 175 MW in total in Alibunar, placed fourth.

Before these two wind farms are raised, WindVision intends to build roads in the territory of the municipality of Alibunar, which will be used to transport the necessary equipment. The municipality of Alibunar therefore reached the decision on giving approval to the investment and construction works on the roads in Alibunar to WindVision in late September 2016.

This project, as many others in this field, has been talked about for years now. WindVision announced back in 2012 that it was planning to raise a wind farm near Alibunar, and in 2013, the municipality adopted the Detailed Regulation Plan for this complex, estimated at EUR 290 million at the time.

The first bioenergy power plant placed fifth, namely, the pellet factory and bio power plant in Boljevac, in which Bioenergy Point intends to invest EUR 9 million. The company plans to expand its pellet factory with this investment and raise the production from 60,000 to 80,000 tons a year.

Zoran Drakulic, co-owner of Bioenergy Point says that the Boljevac factory will be the largest such facility in the Balkans, whereas the construction of the 2.4 MW thermal power plant will enable the production to be unified, along with a considerable reduction of expenses of the company, which is a big electricity consumer.

Interest in alternative fuels in the local market, especially in cold winters such as this year's, leads to increased interest in investing in RES.

The sixth and seventh spot again feature a wind farm and a bio power plant.

The Czech investor Vision Group indents to build a 60 MW wind farm near Zajecar, worth EUR 100 million. The company, which was founded in 2010 by Czech and Korean partners, specializes in solar technologies, hydrotechnology, wind power and biomass processing facilities, biogas and steam facilities and thermal technologies.

(Photo: tchara/shutterstock.com)
The seventh spot belongs to the project which placed second in 2015 – the construction of the biomass power plant in Krusevac. Let us remind that a memorandum on cooperation between the City of Krusevac and the Krusevac-based company Building Energy 1, founded by Milan's Building Energy and Krusevac's Synergy invest, was signed and that the construction of future bioenergy power plant, worth EUR 27 million, started in 2015.

In October 2016, an agreement on exploitation of wood was signed with Srbijasume for the period of ten years. The power plant, which will be fueled by wood biomass of all types, will provide 4.8 MW of electrical and 20 MW of thermal power.

The works should start in the spring of 2017, and the bioenergy power plant is expected to become operational in time for the 2018/19 heating season.

Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) and General Electric Power (GE Power) signed an agreement on the procurement of the turbine for the A4 Unit of the Nikola Tesla thermal power plant (TENT) in Obrenovac in July 2016, which placed eighth on the list of the most important pieces of news regarding energy.

The investment in question is worth EUR 19.9 million, which should enable EPS to save as much as EUR 6 million through reduced usage of coal and increased efficiency. The revitalization of the A4 Unit will be carried out in 2017, and the new turbine will enable the power to be raised from 308 to 333 MW.

In 2016, the B2 Unit was overhauled in TENT, extending its lifetime by 30 years and more than 200,000 hours and increasing its power to 650 MW.

The last bionergy power plant on the list (ninth spot) will be using an unusual raw material as its fuel. A bioenergy power plant using sunroot as the energy source should soon be built in the Veliko Gradiste area. The investor has already rented around 150 hectares for growing this plant, also known as “wild potato”.

Veliko Gradiste doesn't want to disclose who the investor is, but they say that the investment is worth EUR 3 to 4 million and that around twenty workers should be employed.

The fact that power production from this plant is possible and profitable is shown by the data saying that sunroot can produce biomass several times larger than that derived from corn – more than 120 tons per hectare.

(Photo: nostal6ie/shutterstock.com)
The list is rounded up by another NIS project, which placed tenth. The company is considering building a gas storage in Srpski Itebej, near Zrenjanin. Srbijagas, which announced investments in the gas storage at Itebej, is one potential partner in this project.

The gas storage capacity has been estimated at a billion cubic meters and the project should be developed parallel to the second phase of the construction of the Banatski Dvor gas storage, whose capacity might also reach a billion cubic meters.

The idea behind these investments is clear – to enable Serbia to fully cover the local gas needs, which currently amount to between 2.1 and 2.5 billion cubic meters a year.

This goal is especially significant in the light of frequent cuts of gas supply from Russia in the past years and the lack of alternative routes for supplying Serbia with this energy source.

Take a look at the complete list of investments in ENERGY and compare it to your thoughts, estimates and projections.

Also, have you seen the list of projects which you've found the most interesting in the INDUSTRY, REAL ESTATE, AGRICULTURE AND FOOD INDUSTRY, TRADE CENTERS and TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT AND RECREATION categories?
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