The energy sector of Montenegro is small, with only 396,000 customers and overall demand of approximately 3,500 gigawatt hours (GWh) annually. Electricity production in Montenegro for 2021 totaled 3,160GWh. The majority of electricity in Montenegro is produced at the Pljevlja coal-fired Thermal Power Plant as well as the Perucica and Piva Hydropower Plants.
The core activities of the majority state-owned Electrical Power Company of Montenegro (EPCG) are electricity generation, transmission, distribution, and supply. In July 2017, the former strategic partner with the Government of Montenegro, Italian company A2A, initiated a withdrawal procedure by exercising the put option after its contract expired on July 1, 2017. Under the agreement, the Government agreed to purchase A2A’s 41.7 percent of shares in EPCG for 250 million euros over a period of seven years. The government instead decided to purchase A2A shares rapidly, increasing its majority stake in EPCG. Accordingly, the government increased its ownership stake to 85.4% of shares in total.
Montenegro signed the Agreement of the Electro-Energetic Community for Southeastern Europe on January 1, 2015, which resulted in opening its energy market to competitors.
The country has the potential to develop additional hydro power plants given its abundance of rivers and streams as well as solar and wind energy plants. Montenegro only uses approximately 20 percent of its hydro potential. To fully develop this sector, Montenegro will need to upgrade its transmission and distribution network.
The most important development project in the transmission system was the construction of an underwater electricity cable to transport the power to and from Italy. The total investment was EUR 800 million, which included the development of a 433-kilometer-long tunnel approximately 1,200 meters below the Adriatic Sea surface. The Government of Montenegro began operation of the underwater electric transmission cable in December 2019.
HPP Komarnica – An investment of approximately EUR 250 million is required to develop the Komarcnica hydropower plant, which will use two 170 MW power generators with a combined annual production of 210 GWh. Extensive geotechnical and hydrological research has already been performed on the site, and the government has adopted a spatial plan for the development of a multipurpose water reservoir on the Komarnica River.
Solar power plants - Due to its sound geographical position, Montenegro is rich in solar radiation. Areas which enjoy the highest solar radiation are located in southern Montenegro (particularly the area around the cities of Bar and Ulcinj) and in the area around the capital city of Podgorica. There is also a growing interest in renting state-owned land for construction of on-ground installed solar power plants. In these instances, when an investor is interested in the construction of a PV power plant in a certain area, a public tender for a 30-year lease of state-owned land may be executed.
The city of Podgorica issued plans for the construction of a ground mounted solar power plant at Velje Brdo, with an installed power capacity of at least 50 MW. In October 2018, a consortium including Fortum, the state-owned energy company EPCG, and Sterling & Wilson International Solar FZCO won a public tender to build a solar power plant in Ulcinj. The consortium has proposed building 250 MW of solar power in Ulcinj.
Two wind farms in Montenegro - Krnovo, with a capacity of 72MWh, and Mozura, with a capacity of 46MWh - are currently in operation. In June 2021, EPCG shareholders approved construction of the 55MW Gvozd wind farm with Austria’s Ivicom Holding. The estimated value of the project is EUR 58 million. In August 2020, the Montenegrin Government signed a contract for the construction of 70MW wind park on Brajici with German company WPD Windmanger. The project is worth EUR 101 million.
Investment in Oil and Gas – In late 2013, Montenegro invited international oil and gas companies to bid on exploration licenses for offshore blocks, based on seismic data which showed favorable conditions for hydrocarbon deposits off of Montenegro’s deep-water coast. The GoM has signed concession agreements with two consortia: the Italian-Russian consortium Eni/Novatek for four blocks and the Greek-British consortium Energean oil/Mediterranean oil & gas for one block. The Montenegrin government also signed concession agreements for exploratory offshore oil and gas drilling, which began in March 2021, although preliminary results indicate that the drill site is not feasible for exploitation.
The 2014 Montenegrin Energy Development Strategy estimates that by 2030 up to 7 billion barrels of oil and 425 billion cubic meters of natural gas could be discovered along the coast. Further research regarding these resources is necessary to confirm capacity levels. The search for oil and gas, along with the production cycle, consists of several phases: exploration, appraisal, development, production, and abandonment. Montenegro does not possess the necessary technology, nor does it have the experience, to produce oil or gas. Furthermore, successful energy exploration must also factor in the environmental impact of operations, as coastal tourism comprises a significant percentage of national revenues.
Montenegro does not currently possess the gas distribution network or the necessary technology to produce oil or gas, which may represent an investment opportunity. In March 2020, the Minister of Economy announced the government’s intention to begin importing U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) via the Port of Bar. The Port has signed two MoUs with interested companies, and the companies are currently working on feasibility studies.
Ministry of Capital Investments
Ervin Ibrahimovic, Minister
81000 Podgorica, Rimski trg 46
Phone: +382 20 482124,
Web site: https://www.gov.me/en/mki
Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism
Ana Novakovic Djurovic, Minister
81000 Podgorica, IV Proleterske brigade 19
Phone: +382 20 446 200;
Web site: https://www.gov.me/mepg
Energy Regulatory Agency
Milica Knezevic, Director
81000 Podgorica, Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog 96
Phone: +382 81 201 360; Fax: +382 81 201 365
Web site: https://regagen.co.me/