Serbia: More details emerge on OneGiga PV project

Last week, Luxembourg-based venture capital management company Securum Equity Partners & Associates announced its one GW photovoltaic project had received the green light from the Serbian government. Construction on the €1.75 billion project is scheduled to begin next April, and should be completed by December 31, 2015.

To fund the project, Securum set up the OneGiga Solar Park Incubator project investment fund last November. Alessio Colussi, co-CEO and chief relationship officer at the company tells pv magazine it has received interest from around 30 investors.

While no one has committed funds to date, Colussi says many were waiting for the binding framework to be signed with the government last week. If they all now confirm, he adds, the funding goal will be reached. Most of the interested investors are said to be located in Europe, although there is also some international interest.

Overall, the one GW will be comprised of 100 ten MW photovoltaic systems. Colussi explains that a few locations have already been found in the south eastern belt of the country, where the solar irradiation is highest.

A total of 500 people are expected to be employed during the construction phase, and a further 120 for plant maintenance. Securum said the majority of workers will also be employed in the south of Serbia, where there is the highest rate of unemployment in the country.

The generated solar energy from the OneGiga Project will be sold to Enerxia Energy. A PPA is still to be signed, says Colussi, as Enerxia was waiting for the framework agreement to be closed. More details are expected to be available within the next month.

Manufacturing details

As already announced, Serbia-based MX Group South East Europe DOO will act as EPC contractor for the project. It will also establish a new company to manufacture both mono- and poly-crystalline photovoltaic modules.

A spokesperson for the group tells pv magazine that annual capacity will be at least 60 to 70 MW. The location is still to be determined, and the spokesperson would not share the investment costs or when work on the new facility will commence. The first modules, are however, expected to be available in 2H 2013.

In addition to using modules from the new factory, MX Group will also source modules from other, leading international suppliers. They have yet to be identified. Colussi adds that it is important to establish a manufacturing base in Serbia, which while small initially, could grow in the future.

A 60 MW photovoltaic inverter factory will also be set up in Serbia, to partly serve the OneGiga project. A spokesperson for Italy-based Fimer Spa, which will manufacture the inverters using its technology, says €3 million will be invested in the establishment of the facility and in training.

It is expected to be located in the Pirot area of south eastern Serbia, although no time lines have been set for its construction. Last week it was said, however, that the first inverters are scheduled to come off the production line 10 months after operations commence.