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Montenegro: Small hydropower plants males millions of euros in profit

, SEE Energy News

If all ten small hydroelectric power plants (mHE) in the municipality of Andrijevica, which are privately owned, were municipal, that local government would be one of the wealthiest, with an annual revenue and budget of around four million euros.

The current budget of the municipality of Andrijevica is planned at around 2.5 million euros and is filled with a tax from concessions on the water for mHEs from its territory, amounting to about ten percent, said the municipal secretary for finance, Stojan Mitrović, adding that there is also revenue from property tax, which is also significant.

“When planning the budget, I calculate around 300 thousand euros that will belong to the Municipality, or six percent from concessions on the water for mHEs. We fought for that percentage, which we consider not bad. Of course, it would be best if all those plants were state or municipal-owned, but now, what’s done is done, and that should be maximally collected and used for the benefit of the citizens,” said Mitrović.

He stated that there are ten mHEs on the territory of the municipality of Andrijevica that are privately owned, as well as one municipal, managed by the company Vodovod.

“In addition, in the territory of Berane, hydroelectric power plants owned by the company Hidroenergija Montenegro, Jelovica 1 and Jelovica 2, as well as one in the village of Šekular, are located on watercourses belonging to both municipalities, so we share the revenues from these three small hydroelectric power plants equally,” explained Mitrović.

According to him, the monthly revenue from concessions on hydroelectric power plants varies depending on the water level, so in the summer months, it amounts to about six thousand euros, while in months of higher water levels, that revenue is around 35 thousand in the territory of the municipality of Andrijevica.

The secretary for finance said that concessions are collected through the Ministry of Finance, with 70 percent belonging to local self-governments, and 30 percent going to the state budget.

“The property tax is a significant item, where one percent of the value of mHEs is taken. Owners have so far only declared the value of the facility, not the machinery, and we have seen a judgment in favour of the municipality of Berane where it was ruled that this percentage is calculated in the total value with equipment,” said Mitrović.

He added that this means that if one plant is worth one million euros, and some are worth even more, one percent amounts to ten thousand euros.

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