Montenegro's EPCG picks Chinese-led consortium for coal plant clean-up

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Montenegro’s EPCG has picked a consortium led by China’s Dongfang Electric International Corporation to reduce emissions from the utility’s sole coal-fired power plant and bring it in line with European Union standards.

The Chinese firm, part of Dongfang Electric Corporation Ltd., offered to carry out project at the 210 megawatt (MW) Pljevlja power plant for 54.4 million euros ($60 million), EPCG said on Friday.

Rival bids came in at 98 million euros and 72.5 million euros, EPCG added.

The project, set to be completed by 2021, should also extend the 210-megawatt (MW) power plant’s lifespan by 20 years.

Once completed, the plant’s emissions would fall below limits set by Montenegro’s regulations and EU directives on coal industry emissions, EPCG said, adding it also planned to invest 20 million euros to modernize the plant’s ash depot by 2023.

EPCG’s shareholders approved a plan in August to increase the government’s stake to 85.4% from 76.9%, after Italy’s biggest regional utility A2A, which now holds a 11.9% stake, decided to sell up.

EPCG also operates about 650 MW of installed hydro-power capacity and aims to diversify its power generation portfolio to include solar and wind power sources.

Reporting by Maja Zuvela