PPC bids for North Macedonia’s Cebren hydropower plant

Power utility PPC is among ten international bidding teams from the energy and construction domains that have submitted pre-qualification offers to a tender for North Macedonia’s prospective Cebren hydropower plant, an investment expected to require at least 500 to 600 million euros.

This preliminary stage of the tender concerns water usage licensing rights for hydropower output at the neighboring country’s Crna Reka river. Preliminary bids were opened yesterday.

A related committee to soon be assembled by the North Macedonian government will examine whether the bids submitted fully meet the tender’s requirements before qualifiers are invited to a second round for offers concerning the project’s development in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with state-owned power producer ESM.

Besides PPC, which has teamed up with energy and construction firm Archirodon, the other nine bids were submitted by: EVN-Verbund (Austria); Gezhouba Group China (China); Power Construction Corporation of China (China); EDF (France); Eiffage-Waterlu-Andritz-Norconsult (France, Austria); Webuild SPA Italia-Salini (Italy); Cobra-Cobra Hidraulika (Spain); ENKA-COLIN (Turkey); and Ozaltin-Yapi Merkezi (Turkey).

The North Macedonian government plans to commission a consultant for preparations concerning the tender’s second round.

In previous years, more than ten tenders have been staged for the construction and operation of the Cebren hydropower plant, but all efforts have proved fruitless, for a variety of reasons.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s administration has noted that a serious effort is being made for the project’s development, ascertaining the current tender will be successfully completed.

It is planned to offer an installed capacity of between 333 and 458 MW for annual electricity production of 1,000 to 1,200 GWh.

One of three Crete link bidding teams wants time or will exit

ABB, the world’s biggest developer of power grid interconnection projects, has requested a further deadline extension greater than the one-month periods of additional time already granted twice for a tender concerning the Crete-Athens grid interconnection project’s engineering, procurement and construction of two converter stations and a GIS substation, energypress sources have informed. The tender’s current deadline is set to expire on October 31.

Both the Greek government and power grid operator IPTO appear determined not to accept any further deadline extension requests as this, they believe, would increase the risk of a project delay and, consequently, energy sufficiency issues on Crete.

Outdated, high-polluting power stations still operating on Crete soon need to be withdrawn.

ABB, which has joined forces with Greek maritime infrastructure construction and maintenance group Archirodon for the Cretan project’s tender, has cited the complexity of the project for the additional time the company appears to need. If a sizable extension is not granted, then ABB and project partner Archirodon will most likely withdraw from the tender, it is believed.

On the contrary, two other partnerships established for the tender, according to reliable sources, are preparing to submit their offers. Siemens is believed to have joined forces with Greek construction company TERNA and General Electric is working with Greece’s Mytilineos, according to sources.

The grid interconnection project’s development faces a tight schedule. IPTO chief executive Manos Manousakis told a recent conference the project will be launched early 2023, not at the end of 2022, as was previously believed.

PPC eyeing Dubai pumped storage hydropower project

The main power utility PPC is preparing to submit an offer for the construction of a 250-MW pumped storage hydropower plant (PSHPP) in Hatta, southeast of Dubai City.

The project, estimated to be worth over 450 million euros, is planned to utilize water at the Al Hattawi dam in Hatta, near the UAE’s border with Oman.

PPC aims to take part in the project’s tender as the head of a consortium including Archirodon Construction (Overseas) Co Ltd. and Hitachi – Mitsubishi Hydro Corporation.

The project description includes construction of a higher-elevation reservoir with a storage capacity of 880 million gallons, 300 meters above the Al Hattawi dam, whose storage capacity measures 1.72 billion gallons of water. The dam lies 400 meters above sea level. The distance between the existing dam and prospective higher-elevation reservoir will be approximately 3 to 4 kilometers.

During off-peak hours, turbines are planned to pump water from the existing dam to the higher-elevation reservoir, utilizing solar energy.

Last June, DEWA, the state-run Dubai Electricity and Water Authority commissioned EDF, at a price of 15.8 million dollars, to prepare plans for the project, including design, geological, hydrygeological, environmental and excavation studies.  DEWA announced the completion of this stage in November.

An initial November 18, 2018 deadline has been extended to January 13 following requests by participants.

PPC and Archirodon, a Dutch group headquartered in Dordrecht, are joining forces for the first time following the signing of a MoU for a five-year partnership, announced last October.

Archirodon has maintained an international presence, offering EPC services, for approximately 60 years, including in the Middle East and North Africa regions.