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Status report on Serbian renewable energy ventures: Construction updates and shifts in ownership

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Serbian auctions for renewable energy market premiums garnered praise from both domestic and foreign investors, labeling them successful, superior, and regionally exemplary. The Ministry of Mining and Energy expressed satisfaction, announcing an estimated investment value of EUR 1.26 billion and underscoring the credibility of the bids through substantial bank guarantees and deposits exceeding EUR 18 million.

Six months after the inaugural auctions, our investigation delves into the progress of the nine winners, addressing key questions about construction commencement, adherence to timelines, and any modifications in ownership.

Commencing construction, wind farm Pupin in Kovačica stands out as the sole project making headway, with expectations to conclude by early next year. Originally slated for a 2025 debut, Čibuk 2 in Kovin and Vetrozelena in Pančevo appear to be lagging, contrasting with initial announcements.

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A notable change occurred at Crni Vrh, previously entirely Serbian-owned. In late 2023, it was sold to Chinese entities, injecting a substantial EUR 25.2 million capital infusion.

Vetrozelena, initiated by CWP in collaboration with PowerChina Resources, is presently in the bid collection phase for project segments. Although the initial plan aimed for a 2025 launch, specific details from CWP regarding the exact timeline remain undisclosed.

Ranked second, Čibuk 2 anticipates operation in 2025, generating 430,000 MWh annually to power approximately 100,000 homes. Progress seems smooth, according to Vladimir Milanović, CEO of Masdar Taaleri Generation, the company spearheading Čibuk 2.

Ranked third, Enlight K2-Wind has already commenced construction on the Pupin wind farm, projecting full operational capacity by Q1 2025, boasting a total capacity of 94.4 MW.

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Crni Vrh Power, the only Serbian-owned winner, underwent an ownership shift to Chinese companies, specifically CMC Capital (Hong Kong) and Shanghai Electric Power & Energy Development, acquiring 51% and 49%, respectively. While specific construction progress details are unavailable, the new directors—Li Yong, Sun Lan, and Liu Xin—indicate continuity in the project.

Despite ownership changes, the Ministry of Mining and Energy asserts that the auctions’ outcomes remain unaffected.

In summary, Serbia’s renewable energy projects showcase varying progress, occasional delays, shifts in ownership, and emerging collaborations. The nation remains committed to its renewable energy aspirations, with investors navigating challenges to contribute to Serbia’s transition to sustainable energy sources.

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