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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it is seeking a consultant to advise on the development of a common hydropower monitoring methodology for the Western Balkans, in cooperation with civil society organizations.

The hydropower plant in Dubossary, Moldova. Photo by shirmanov aleksey/Shutterstock.com

“The assignment is expected to start in the first quarter of 2020 and has an estimated overall duration of 18 months,” the EBRD said in a statement.

The overall objective of the project is to develop a hydropower monitoring methodology in Albania and North Macedonia and establish a monitoring protocol and transfer skills and knowledge to local stakeholders. The estimated cost of the assignment is EUR 120,000, exclusive of VAT, and will be financed by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.

“The project supports the EBRD’s approach to investment projects in the hydropower sector, i.e. employing the highest environmental and social standards and introducing good international practices in the sector, and assisting sustainable hydropower development planning through policy engagement and technical cooperation initiatives,” the EBRD said.

The Western Balkans region (Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia) has a very high conservation value with up to 30% of rivers currently in near-natural or pristine state, the EBRD noted.

While hydropower provides continuous renewable energy, the construction and operation of hydropower plants can pose environmental concerns, in particular for water resources and in view of ecosystem impacts, such as aquatic biodiversity, the bank added.