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Philip Lam, Operations Leader

Ombla HPP

Project number:42219
Business sector:Power and energy
Environmental category:A
Target Board date:22 Nov 2011
PSD disclosed:24 May 2011

Project Description

The EBRD has approved a senior loan to Hrvatska Elektroprivreda d.d. (“HEP”, or the “Borrower”). The financing will enable the Borrower to build the 68 MW Ombla hydroelectric power plant on the Rijeka Dubrovačka bay near the City of Dubrovnik in Croatia (the “Project”).

Transition Impact

The proposed project will have a transition impact stemming primarily from two factors: (i) it will set out standards for corporate governance and business conduct, through the Borrower’s acceptance to comply with EBRD’s Procurement Policies for Public Sector Operations and international best practices in project implementation and environmental control; and (ii) it will demonstrate new and replicable behaviour and activities, through building a non-conventional hydroelectric power plant (located entirely underground) as well as facilitating the development of clean energy sources and further contributing to Croatia’s targets in renewable energy generation.

The Client

Hrvatska Elektroprivreda d.d. is the holding company which owns 100 per cent of the shares in the unbundled subsidiaries of Croatia’s national utility company, HEP Group. HEP is active in the areas of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity as well as generation and distribution of thermal power and gas. The Borrower is fully owned by the Croatian state.

EBRD Finance

Up to €123.2 million.

Project Cost

€152.4 million.

Environmental Impact

The Project is considered Category A under the 2008 Environmental and Social Policy by virtue of the size of the underground dam and the significance of potential impacts to a proposed Natura 2000 area. As such, an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment – inclusive of a 1999 Enviornmental Impact Assessment, 2008 study of bats in Vilina Cave, Stakeholder Engagement Plan, NonTechnical Summary, and Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) – were disclosed for 120 days of public review and comment. Public consultation meetings were held in Dubrovnik, and further consultation meetings were held with authorities and nongovernmental organizations in Dubrovnik, Zagreb, and Sarajevo.

The most significant potential impacts were determined to be to biodiversity (bats and spring- and cave-dwelling organisms and habitat) and to landowners and residents whose land will be needed for project roads. The area of the project has, since permits were issued by Croatian authorities, been proposed for protection under Natura 2000 upon Croatia’s accession to the European Union in July 2013.  The ESAP requires that further biodiversity studies, including an Appropriate Assessment and Biodiversity Management Plan, be completed in line with requirements of the EU Habitats Directive. These will result in specific mitigation and/or compensation, as required by the Directive, that will be completed before Bank financing will be committed for activities that could affect the proposed Natura 2000 area. The studies were completed and disclosed for public review and comment in early March 2013, and further consultations with the public, authorities, and NGOs will be undertaken during the 30-day disclosure period.

In addition, a Resettlement Action Plan has been developed to meet the requirements of Croatian law and EBRD Performance Requirement 5. This Plan is expected to lead to negotiations that allow amicable agreements to compensate for any resettlement or loss of land. The ESAP also requires actions to prevent impacts on a nearby chapel, and a traffic management to control disruption of nearby neighbourhoods by construction traffic. In general, implementation of mitigations and other actions in the ESAP will allow full compliance with all relevant EBRD Performance Requirements, and monitoring required during construction and operation will ensure continued compliance throughout the Project’s life.

There is an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment available for this project.

Technical Cooperation


Procurement or tendering opportunities

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Enquiries: Tel: +44 20 7338 6794; Fax: +44 20 7338 7472, Email: procurement@ebrd.com

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EBRD project enquiries not related to procurement:
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Email: projectenquiries@ebrd.com

Public Information Policy (PIP)

The PIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations.
Text of the PIP

Project Complaint Mechanism (PCM)

The EBRD has established the Project Complaint Mechanism (PCM) to provide an opportunity for an independent review of complaints from one or more individuals or from organisations concerning projects financed by the Bank which are alleged to have caused, or likely to cause, harm. The Rules of Procedure governing the PCM can be found at www.ebrd.com/downloads/integrity/pcmrules.pdf, the Russian version can be accessed at http://www.ebrd.com/downloads/integrity/pcmrulesr.pdf

Any complaint under the PCM must be filed no later than 12 months after the last distribution of EBRD funds. You may contact the PCM officer (at pcm@ebrd.com) or the relevant EBRD Resident Office for assistance if you are uncertain as to the period within which a complaint must be filed.

Project Summary Documents are created before consideration by the EBRD Board of Directors. Details of a project may change following disclosure of a Project Summary Document. Project Summary Documents cannot be considered to represent official EBRD policy.

Last updated 12 March 2012