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Hydro Power Company Gorna Arda is a Bulgarian company, established in 1999 by the National Electric Company (NEK) and the Turkish Ceylan Holding. It was established after an intergovernmental agreement between Bulgaria and Turkey for a long-term barter was signed. According to the agreement the Turkish party should construct roads and hydro plant cascade in Bulgaria, and Bulgaria should export energy in return.  
The project envisaged 3 hydro power plants in the cascade (Madan, Sarnitsa and Ardino), located along the stream of Arda river. The groundbreaking took place in the end of 1999, and the cascade’s construction was planned to be completed by 2006. Shortly after that the project was frozen due to disagreement between the shareholders.
In 2008 the Austrian company EVN expressed its interest in the Gorna Arda project. The company has operated on the Bulgarian market since 2005 executing business activities in the field of electricity distribution and trade in South-Eastern Bulgaria. 
On September 2nd, 2009 the government of the Republic of Bulgaria appointed Hydro Power Company Gorna Arda AD (also referred to as HEC Gorna Arda) as the investor in the Gorna Arda Cascade. The Council of Ministers approved a letter of support for the realization of the investment project. This letter is not a state guarantee, does not burden the budget and does not raise any financial obligations for the state. NEK, EVN and Alpine Bau expressed their wish to be shareholders in HEC Gorna Arda. In the beginning of 2010 Аlpine Bau reviewed its business development plans and decided to withdraw from the project. Thus NEK and EVN became the only shareholders in the project left. 
On July 19th, 2010 a share contract for construction and operation of hydro power cascade Gorna Arda was signed in the Bulgarian Embassy in Vienna in the presence of the Bulgarian Prime Minister Mr. Boyko Borissov.. This contract stipulated the collaboration base between NEK and EVN. For Bulgaria the document was signed by Krassimir Parvanov, CEO of NEK EAD, and for Austria it was signed by Burkhard Hofer, Chairperson of the Board of Directors in EVN. 
The establishment of the new company proves the determination of EVN and NEK to restore a long time planned project for a hydro power cascade on the upper stream of Arda river in South-Eastern Bulgaria. 
EVN and NEK realize the great importance of this project for the Bulgarian economy and population. Preliminary works on the project started in 2010. During the construction period new job positions will be opened in the region and stable economic impulses for the infrastructure and the tourism will be created. 
EVN and NEK are working in close collaboration with the Bulgarian institutions and local communities