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North Macedonia invites pre-qualification bids for Cebren pumped-storage plant

The Government of the Republic of North Macedonia invites pre-qualification applications by 3 April from prospective bidders for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the Cebren pumped-storage hydro plant on the river Crna Reka, in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the state-owned power producer Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM), formerly Elektrani Na Makedonija (ELEM).

The Cebren project will be structured as a PPP whereby the winning bidder would create a project company with ESM and be granted a 60-year concession for the use of water for electricity generation, the exclusive right to design, build, operate and maintain the Cebren  hydropower plant and dam (with indicative installed capacity of 333 MW) and the Orlov Kamen dam (with possibility for an additional hydropower plant at the site), and the exclusive right to operate and maintain the existing 116 MW Tikves hydropower plant, downstream on the same river, three months after the commissioning of Cebren.

The project will involve the construction of two concrete arch dams: the Cebren dam will impound the upper reservoir and the Orlov Kamen dam will impound the lower reservoir. The award of the concession will be subject to the transfer of the facilities to the Government of Macedonia at the end of the concession period. The indicative investment value of the project is estimated at €570 million (US$ 615 million), according to the tender notice published on ESM’s website on 19 February.

Successive governments have since June 2006 sought and failed through a series of tenders to secure an investor to form a PPP with the state power producer to build Cebren as well as the downstream 192.5 MW Galiste storage scheme. Bids were previously submitted by Greece’s state power company PPC and a consortium of China Three Gorges Corporation and China International Water & Electric Corporation. The Galiste project is not part of this tender but will be offered for development to the winning bidder if interested.

Tender documentation containing instructions and qualifying criteria (the Prequalification Document) is available upon request by email to (with copy to and payment of a fee of €5000 (payable in dinar counter value).

Prospective bidders having requested the Prequalification Document shall be registered and included in the questions and answers and notification distribution list. Prequalified bidders that meet the criteria set forth in the prequalification document shall be invited to participate in an international competitive tender process for the project. Prequalification applications must be submitted by 16.00 hrs local CET time on 3 April to the address of the Bid Commission indicated below.

For further information, contact: Mr Viktor Andonov, Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Republic of North Macedonia for economic affairs, Bid Commission, Boulevard Ilinden no. 2 Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia; Tel: +389 2 3134211; Email:; and/or Mrs. Ljupka Dimovska Zajkov, Presveta Bogorodica No.9 Skopje; Tel: +389 2 3251 414; Email:; and/or Mrs. Jasna Ivanova Davidovic, 11 Oktomvri No.9, Skopje; Tel: +389 2 3149 167; Email: