International tenders for four hydro power plants on the Moraca river in the Yugoslav Republic of Montenegro were opened recently.

Montenegro has offered the plants on a build-operate-transfer basis, giving investors a 30-year concession to operate the plants.

The four plants, rated at 360MW, would make the US$420M project one of Europe’s largest in recent years. They would not only meet Montenegro’s immediate power needs but would also allow some export to neighbouring countries.

Of the 38 companies that expressed interest in the tender, announced in August 1997, 18 bought tender papers and seven submitted bids. Two of the bids came from Italy’s Torno and Ente Nazionale per l’Energia Elettrica consortia; two from Austria’s ELIN and Voest-Alpine; one from Russia’s EMK-Power Engineering; one from Terna of Greece; and one from China’s Shanghai Electric Corporation.