The plants are being built on the river Iskar and are expected to generate approximately 150GWh of electricity annually.

According to MWH, which prepared the design documentation for the carbon credit application, the project should replace approximately 371,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over 2018-2012.

Project develper is Vez Svoghe, which is 90% owned by a subsidiary of Italian group Petrolvilla & Bortolotii. The balance is held by the local municipality of Svoghe.

The scheme has funding from the European bank for reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which plans to buy the carbon credits on behalf of the Netherlands through the bank-administered Netherlands Emissions Reduction Co-operation Fund. MWH said the first credits are expected to be delivered by early 2009.

The carbon credits were approved by the UNFCCC under the Joint Implementation process introduced under the Kyoto protocol to help cut back on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.