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Minister of Mining and Energy of Serbia Dubravka Đedović said EUR 320 million would be invested to strengthen the power distribution grid. The country’s parliament is about to pass a law on guarantees for a EUR 50 million commercial loan for the purpose.

The stability of supply has been stabilized after interruptions in several areas in Serbia, caused by several violent storms, according to Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović. She said the government would invest EUR 320 million in strengthening the distribution network.

“We had major problems in identifying the locations where the grid was disconnected. We began big new investments in the distribution network, in which we are investing EUR 320 million to strengthen and automatize it and replace transformers and old meters. This way we will reduce losses and identify future outages more easily,” Đedović stated, as quoted by the ministry.

Of note, Schneider Electric recently announced that it signed a EUR 140 million contract with Serbia for the delivery of medium voltage equipment and grid management software for the power distribution system.

Serbia to provide guarantees for commercial loans for EDS

The National Assembly is currently debating a proposal to provide guarantees for a loan package for distribution system operator Elektrodistribucija Srbije (EDS) of EUR 50 million. The proceeds are intended for the replacement of wooden poles with ones made of concrete, switching noninsulated conductors with self-supporting power cable bundles and the adaptation of household connection devices.

The upcoming investments are intended for cutting losses in the distribution grid and to identify locations of breakdowns in the system

The firm agreed through a tender to borrow EUR 40 million from Hungarian OTP Bank’s subsidiary in Serbia and EUR 10 million from the local branch of Italy-based Banca Intesa. The loans are due in seven years including a repayment delay for the first three years. The financing facility is intended for the renewal of the network in and around the cities of Kraljevo, Niš and Kragujevac, the documentation shows.

The minister earlier said lawmakers would soon vote on bills that would enable the introduction of smart electricity meters throughout the country. She added that the implementation should start by early 2024.

The project is worth EUR 110 million. EDS signed a loan agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2021 for EUR 80 million.