Serbia and SNC Lavalin May Agree on $776 Million Plant in 2014

Serbia and a unit of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. may sign a contract next year on building a 600 million-euro ($776 million) hydro-power plant in the Balkan country after Parliament ratifies an accord with the Canadian Commercial Corporation.

The bilateral agreement with Canada’s state agency for international contracting will help provide guarantees for hiring SNC-Lavalin International Inc. to build the 680-megawatt pumped-storage Bistrica plant, Energy Minister Zorana Mihajlovic told reporters at a business forum in Kopaonik today. The plant will help Serbia balance the grid during consumption peaks, she said.

Negotiations with SNC-Lavalin on the Bistrica project will start after lawmakers approve the accord, which they are currently discussing. A binding contract with the Montreal-based builder may be closed in 12 to 18 months, she said.

Elektroprivreda Srbije, Serbia’s dominant, state-run power producer, signed a memorandum of understanding with SNC Lavalin on the project last March. The document also envisaged the participation of China Nuclear Power Engineering Co. Ltd., though “SNC Lavalin is seen as the lead contractor,” Mihajlovic said.

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