Project number:


Business sector:

Power and energy

Notice type:


Environmental category:


Approval date:

02 Nov 2004



PSD disclosed:

20 Jul 2004

Project Description

The proposed project consists of the construction of a new 400 kV Overhead transmission line (OHL) interconnection, between the Romanian power utility Transelectrica and the Hungarian power utility MVM, located between the 400 kV Oradea South substation, near the city of Oradea (Romania) and the 400 kV Bekescsaba substation near the city of Bekescaba (Hungary).
This part of the project will bring benefits to both UCTE system security and the regional electricity market. The project also consists of the construction of  a new 400 kV interconnection substation at Nadab that will close the internal transmission ring in the Romanian northwest area and increase the reliability of the transmission system operation.
The above project structure will allow both power systems (Romanian and Hungarian) to maximize the economic and technical benefits provided by the new interconnection.
EBRD and Transelectrica will finance the Romanian part of the OHL project with MVM financing the Hungarian part. The interconnection substation will be financed by Transelectrica and EBRD.

Transition Impact

The project would increase the electricity market opportunities in the region by promoting regional cooperation and by increasing the electricity exchange between the Romanian and Hungarian Interconnected systems, as well as strengthening alternative links with Hungary.
The project would be one of the first long-term syndicated credits for Transelectrica without the benefit of a sovereign guarantee.

The Client

CNTEE Transelectrica SA is the Romanian 100% state-owned electricity transmission company.
The principal activities of Transelectrica-SA and its subsidiaries comprise:
  • 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.

EBRD Finance

EBRD senior loan facility for up to € 25 million financing on a non-sovereign guaranteed basis. Part of the EBRD loan to be co-financed by commercial banks.

Project Cost

€ 34 million.

Environmental Impact

Environmental Review Summary
Project description
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 route crosses 12 administrative territories within Bihor (Oradea, Sinmartin, Nojorid, Cefa, Madaras, Chisineu, Cris, Socodor, and Graniceri) counties.
Environmental classification
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.
Information reviewed
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.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and associated public consultation had been carried out in accordance with Romanian EIA legislation and with EBRD’s EIA requirements.
Key environmental impacts and mitigation measures
OHTL route
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.
Soil contamination
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.
Impact on surface waters
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.
Impact on biodiversity and loss of habitat
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.
Impact on ambient air quality
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.
Electromagnetic radiation impacts
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.
Visual impacts on landscape
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.
Occupational Health and Safety
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.
Cultural and ethnical impacts
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.
Social and economic 
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.
Environmental management and monitoring measures
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.
Disclosure of information and public consultation 
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.
The public has been notified in Romanian daily newspaper (on 30 June 2004) that the EIA in Romanian language and the Executive Summary of the EIA in both Romanian and English languages have been disclosed for public at municipal offices of Arad and Bihor municipalities, at Transelectrica’s head office in Bucharest, in EBRD Resident Office in Bucharest and EBRD Business Information Centre (BIC) in London as of 1 July 2004.  The EIA and the Executive Summary in both Romanian and English languages will also be made available for public on Transelectrica’s website in mid July 2004. The Executive Summary in both Romanian and English languages is also posted on EBRD's website ( The public comment period required by the EBRD is 120 days and will close on 30 October 2004.
Translectrica will organise on-going disclosure of information on the progress of the project and its environmental impacts throughout the project implementation on its website, in annual environmental reports and through periodic press releases.
Monitoring and reporting 
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..
There is an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment available for this project.

Technical Cooperation

€ 100,000 non-reimbursable TC for technical due diligence, provided by the Spanish government.

Business opportunities

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