SKOPJE, Macedonia 3/26/12 (PennWell) -- Investments estimated at more than US$53 million will help pay for 21 new small hydropower facilities in Macedonia, according to the country's ministry of economy.
The announcement comes with the signing of concession agreements with the 10 contractors who will build the hydroelectric plants.
The new plants will be constructed on the Bistrica, Pena, Brza Voda, Kriva, Odranska, Beloviska, Baciska and Jablanica rivers, bring Macedonia's total number of small hydropower projects currently under way to 68.
The total installed capacity of the new generating stations will be 23.3 MW, according to a release.
Valon Saraqini, the minister of economy, says the country hopes the bulk of the projects should be ready for commissioning within three years.
Macedonia's government took applications earlier this year for pre-qualification to build the 70-MW Boskov Most hydroelectric plant on the Mala Reka River.