The mainly state-owned power utility in Montenegro intends to invest roughly $1.1 billion (€1 billion) within the next five years to increase renewable energy production to 2,000 GWh (gigawatt hours) per year and eventually become a green energy exporter.

Last year, the little Adriatic nation of 600,000 people generated 3,160 GWh of electricity, mostly from coal and hydropower.

On the margins of a conference in Bosnia, Milutin Djukanovic, who is the EPCG’s board of directors’ president, informed Reuters: “We can inject 400 MW in the next two years, of which 100 MW this year already by placing solar panels on the roofs.”

Montenegro, which has an average of 240 sunny days annually, has enormous potential to generate electricity from hydro, wind, and solar, and this may be its growth engine, according to Djukanovic.

Gvozd, a 54 MW wind farm with a capacity of 150 GWh per year, is set to begin operations in 2023, while working on the Komarnica hydroelectric power plant, having a capacity of 182 MW, is going to begin this year, according to Djukanovic.

He said work on upgrading the country’s only coal-fired power plant, which will begin on Wednesday (27th April) thanks to a partnership with China’s Dongfang Electric International Corporation (600875.SS). The Pljevlja facility will be renovated at a cost of 73 million euros.

“We are starting an ecological rebuilding of the 210 Megawatts Pljevlja thermo-power plant, that provides 40% of Montenegro’s total electricity,” he said, adding that the goal is to reduce emissions to European Union norms.

Montenegro also has a connection to Terna in Italy. EPCG has a total installed hydropower capacity of 650 MW. As the country strengthens connections with the EU, it is currently focusing on renewable energy sources.

One of EPCG’s top priorities in its investment plans is the reconstruction and upgrading of massive hydropower stations. It’s worth noting that the restoration and upgrading of these power plants will cost a lot of money. EPCG improves the preconditions for the valuation of potential, which translates to the prospect of improving the company’s earnings.

Investments of around 40 million euros, on the other hand, contribute to the creation of added value as well as multiplier effects in the energy industry, as well as the economy as a whole. HPP Peruica would receive somewhat more than €30 million, while HPP Piva will receive roughly 9.5 million euros. In the following four years, HPP Peruica will also receive a new unit worth around 24 million euros.

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