- the transport of electricity through a mesh of high voltage lines of 750 to 220 kV
- the management and operation of the Romanian electricity high voltage network to ensure the safe and reliable supply of electricity
- the provision of electricity market administration services.
The proposed project involves the construction and operation of an overhead transmission line (OHTL) of 400 kV nominal voltages between the 400 kV Oradea South substation and 400 kV Békéscsaba substation at the Romanian-Hungarian border. The OHTL on the Romanian territory consists of two distinct sections:
- Single circuit section of 74 km between Oradea South and Nadab, laid on 211 single circuit RODELTA-type steel towers; and
- Double circuit section of 23 km between south Nadab and the mile stone no. 54 at the Romanian-Hungarian border, laid on 67 double circuit DONAU-type steel towers.
The Project involves the construction of a new overhead electrical power line. Therefore, it has been screened A/0 requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment and associated public consultation.
Environmental Impact Assessment of 400 kV Overhead Transmission Line Oradea – Békéscsaba, 400 kV Shunt Reactor to be installed in the Oradea South Substation, Telecommunications and Teletransmission equipment on the 400 kV Overhead Transmission Line Oradea – Békéscsaba, Fichtner Romelectro Engineering, June 2004.
Three alternative routes for the OTHL were investigated, taking into account the environmental impacts of the line construction. The selected corridor was chosen, because it will have the lowest negative impact on forests, highly productive agricultural lands, surface water courses and occupied land areas.
During the construction of the OHTL, the risk of accidental spills and leaks of oil will be mitigated by adhering to good international work practices and planning.
No water will be used for technological purposes. The OTHL route crosses 32 rivers. The towers will be placed so as to leave a protection zone of 15 m when crossing rivers and streams with the span ranging of 10-15 m, and 5 m when crossing drainage channels. Wastewaters from construction camps will be collected in mobile eco-toilets and collected by licensed companies.
The OHTL mainly crosses through field areas and therefore the biodiversity on its route is limited. No rare or endangered species of flora and fauna are found in OHTL zone. The construction activities may cause temporary and limited damage to local flora and fauna. Forest clearance will be limited to less than 1 ha of forest in Mihis forest zone. The cleared vegetation will be recovered by planting small trees and plants. The OHTL does not interfere with any major bird migration routes. In areas of known bird flight paths, warning spheres will be placed on the OHTL.
The air emissions from construction machinery and traffic will be minor and they will have negligible impact on ambient air quality. During the operating stage the corona effect around the high voltage OHTL will generate ground level ozone. The ambient ozone concentrations will remain within permissible regulatory limits.
During the construction, noise level of 65 dB can be temporarily exceeded due to the operation of lorries and equipment in the working zone of the OHTL site. Noise abatement measures will be taken in the zones crossing the residential areas, including adequate work scheduling. During operation phase, the corona effect around live conductors will generate some noise, which will have limited impact on the health and comfort of people who live in the immediate vicinity (within 100 m) of the OHTL.
Anti/vibrating devices will be installed over the entire OHTL length to damp vibration caused by the conductors exposed to the dynamic load of wind.
Wastes consist of the soil excavated for constructing OHTL tower foundations and the demolished concrete platforms used for the site construction organization (2,000 m3, about 5,000 tons). All the wastes will be disposed of according to the legislation in licensed municipal landfills. It is recommended to study the opportunity of using the waste materials as a fill-up material for road embankments.
The OHTL generates non-ionizing radiation, which may have thermal, physical-chemical impacts. The electromagnetic radiation from both single and double circuit parts of the OTHL has been assessed to meet allowable radiation levels under normal weather conditions. Under special weather conditions, both OHTL conductors and the insulator strings can locally develop corona discharges. The level of these limited disturbances shall be monitored after OHTL commissioning.
The OHTL route was established so as to meet the co-inhabitance requirements imposed by the natural landscape, objects, buildings, and facilities in the neighborhood, assuring it’s framing into the existing landscape and with an impact on as limited land areas as possible.
Periodical investigations and maintenance and remedy of failures and accidents will be performed by specifically trained staff. Local population will be warned about the risk of electrical shock. The towers will be provided with warning plates and anti-climbing systems.
The selected route is not expected to cause any damage to historical, archeological and cultural sites. An assistance contract will be concluded with the county museums of Arad and Oradea throughout the works period to ensure no archaeologically valuable areas will be disturbed.
The proposed project will have a positive effect on the zonal infrastructure, but it is not a job creating project. The landowners in the region will get compensation for the lands completely or temporarily occupied with the 400 kV OHTL works. There is no need for resettlement in the OHTL corridor.
Transelectrica will implement an Environmental Management and Monitoring Plan (EMP), which has been developed for the project. The EMP defines the measures needed to prevent, minimise and mitigate adverse impacts and to ensure compliance with applicable environmental standards during both the construction and operation of the OHTL. The EMP includes measures for waste management and disposal, noise abatement, maintenance, emergency response planning as well as monitoring and informing public on the environmental and safety impacts of the project.
An initial public hearing (scoping meeting) of the study programme was organised on 19 March 2004 to identify relevant issues to be addressed in the EIA study. The potentially affected population, local community organizations, NGOs and local governmental agencies were invited to provide comments on the project through two newspaper announcements in Arad and Bihor regions as well as letters and e-mails sent directly to potentially interested stakeholders. On 16 April 2004, all comments received were collected and analysed. No comments on the scope of the EIA or concerns for the project were filed.
Transelectrica will report to EBRD annually on the measured environmental impacts and on the implementation of the EMP. The Bank will evaluate the project's compliance with the applicable environmental and social requirements during the lifetime of the project by reviewing these reports. EBRD environmental specialist may conduct monitoring visits to the site when and if deemed appropriate. In addition, independent environmental monitoring audits may be carried out..
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