National Consultant to conduct an assessment of legal implications of the functioning of Dniester Hydro Power Complex.

Vacancy Number: Pr18/01784

Location:Chisinau, Moldova
Application Deadline: 12 Dec 2018, 23:59 (GMT+2:00)
Application Extended deadline:
19 Dec 2018, 23:59 (GMT+2:00)
Type of Contract:N/A
Starting date: 20 Dec 2018
Reference to the project: The Dniester Hydro Power Complex Social and Environmental Impact Study
Expected Duration of Assignment:25 working days during a period of 2.5 months (until February 28, 2019)
Submission Instructions:

Proposals should be submitted on-line no later than 12 December 2018, 10:00 AM Chisinau local time. Requests for clarification only must be sent by standard electronic communication to the following e-mail Please notice that this address is for information requests only, please do not send or copy your application package to this address. UNDP contact person will respond in writing or by standard electronic mail and will send written copies of the response, including an explanation of the query without identifying the source of inquiry, to all consultants.

Supporting Documents:
Terms of Reference
Individual Consultant Procurement Notice
UNDP General Conditions of Individual Contract


Mr. Vladimir Panfilii.


The Dniester River is the ninth largest river in Europe with total length of 1,350 km and basin area of more than 72,000 km2. Approximately 8.5 million people (5.5 in Ukraine and 2.7 in Moldova) live in the river basin. In addition to the Moldovan users of the Dniester water, including the city of Chisinau, the river is used as a source for drinking water for about 3,5 million peoples in cities, situated out of the Dniester River basin - Chyrnivtsy and Odesa (both, in Ukraine). It is the fourth largest river in Ukraine and the largest one in the Republic of Moldova, meeting about 70 percent the Moldova’s water consumption needs, being thus considered as a strategic surface water resource for the environmental and socio-economic security of the Republic of Moldova.

The first Hydro Power Station on the Dniester River was built in Moldova in the town of Dubasari in 1954. Beginning from 1973, Ukraine has been continuously constructing on the river the second hydropower facility, known as Dniester Hydro Power Complex (HPC). The initial technical design of the HPC was modified in the 2000s in terms of increasing the electricity generation output. It was followed by the installation of additional turbines and subsequent change of the initial role of the water accumulation reservoir (buffer water reservoir), constructed in the riverbed.

Currently, the Dniester HPC consists of two Hydropower Stations (HPS-1 and HPS-2) and Pumped Storage Power Plant (PSP) situated upstream of the Moldovan state border. The dam of the HPS-1 has formed the main water reservoir. Construction of HPS-1, with a total power capacity of 702 MWt lasted from 1973 to 1983. Construction of HPS-2, with a designed capacity of 40,8 MWt, commenced in 1983. It is situated twenty kilometers downstream of HPS-1, near village Nagoryany in the Vinnytsia region in Ukraine and the Moldovan village Naslavcha. Its dam has formed the buffer water reservoir with a length of 19,8 kilometers. The dam of the HPS-2 buffer reservoir was initially designed to mitigate hydropeaking and to ensure uniform water flow downstream and not for the hydro power generation as it is happening now. The Dniester HPC is mainly situated on the territory of Ukraine, except HPS-2 that occupies around 20 ha of the Moldovan territory.

The construction of Dniester PSP began in 1988. However the construction was suspended in 1991. The first generation unit was commissioned in 2009 (out of a total of seven planned turbines). The Dniester PSP is expected to become after finalization the largest pumped-storage HPP in Europe with 2,268 MW in generating mode and 2,947 MW in pumping mode. In this regard, Ukraine further plans to additionally install 4 (four) new generation units (hydro power turbines) which will lead to an increase of the water level by 7 meters in the buffer reservoir. Following the plan above, during the last several years Moldova and Ukraine have been negotiating about official transfer of 17 ha of Moldovan territory to Ukraine for its further use for hydropower generation. This area represents the river bank bordered by the steep slope that will be regularly submerged.

In addition, the construction of 6 (six) new hydropower plants in the upper stretch of the Dniester is envisaged in the Ukrainian National Program on Hydropower Development until 2026, approved in 2017.

The Dniester HPC has been functioning for many years and various negative environmental impacts and other consequences of its operation have been registered by State Hydrometeorological Service downstream of the Dniester River. Generally, the critical pressures generated by HPC are well known. These are hydropeaking, altered water flow and fluctuating water level, sharp decrease of the natural water temperature values in the downstream river stretch which can be traced up to the Dubasari water reservoir, non-typical high transparency of water and reduced self-purification capacity of the river, drastic slow up of the gravel and sand sediments movement, extensive growth of aquatic vegetation in some river stretches, loss of valuable fish biodiversity and decline of fish population due to both blockage of migratory pattern, and changed features and loss of aquatic habitats, etc. Joint Dniester Expeditions have also indicated severe water quality problems, declining biodiversity and deteriorating ecosystems along the river.

To address cooperation on the hydro-energetics issues, currently, the Agreement on functioning of the Dniester HPC is being drafted and negotiated between the Governments of Moldova and Ukraine. It aims to provide the legal background for the functioning of the Dniester HPC and its further upgrading for full scale operation, as well as to establish responsibilities of both contracting parties in terms of ensuring safety of the HPC functioning, parties’ rights, use of properties, leasing of land, etc. The negotiation process of the Agreement has accelerated during last 2 (two) years, and in 2017, the parties came up with a revised draft of the Agreement. However, because of certain provisions on environmental issues it is not ready for signature.

In order to understand the implications of the further development of the Dniester HPC on ecosystems and the population of Moldova, as well as to ensure that the position of the Moldovan negotiation team is based on scientific evidence, the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment of the Republic of Moldova requested support in elaboration of a study on the current and potential impacts of the functioning of the Dniester HPC on the territory of Moldova.

A comprehensive impact assessment Study covering a wide range of issues linked to the hydropower shall be carried out. Finally, the Study shall provide both the Government and broad public with scientifically based assessments and data to be used for negotiation of the Agreement, particularly, addressing environmental, social and legal implications of such an Agreement.

Scope of work

The national consultant will work in close cooperation with an international legal expert contracted by UNDP. The support of the national legal expert will include:

* Evaluation of the possibility to implement the national Moldovan strategies in view of the possibility of extension (upgrade) of the HPC and construction of additional 6 HPP upstream;

* Review of legal aspects of existing national policies of Moldova and Ukraine, legislation, codes, strategies, relevant for transboundary river management and hydropower;

* Conduct in-depth analysis of international commitments of Moldova and Ukraine on water and environmental governance, transnational rivers, public participation, environmental impact assessment, strategic impact assessment, wetlands and wild birds, polluters pay principle (e.g., Espoo Convention, Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, Ramsar Convention, Energy Community Treaty, Association Agreements of Moldova and Ukraine with EU, etc.). The consultant will clarify the legal implications for Moldova and Ukraine on the above mentioned and will make recommendations for Moldovan Government in regard to Dniester HPC;

* Clarify the domestic application of Espoo Convention in Moldova and the steps that have to be taken by Moldova for its application in regard to Dniester HPC;

* Analysis of the Rules of exploitation of water reservoirs of Dniester HPC that will include;

a) Legal assessment of the Rules of exploitation of water reservoirs of Dniester HPC in order to evaluate to what extent they ensure the protection of ecosystem services of the in the Dniester downstream to Dniester HPC.

b) Develop recommendation/suggestions on the mechanism of control over the enforcement of the Rules of exploitation of water reservoirs of Dniester HPC to be included in the Agreement on functioning of Dniester HPC.

* Analysis of national legal provisions regarding the lease of land to foreign countries. Propose relevant amendments of national legislation needed to safely give the land on lease for the consolidation of Dniester river bank near the HPS-2;

* Support the international legal expert with other related tasks that might be needed.

For detailed information, please refer to Annex 1 – Terms of Reference.  

Requirements for experience

I. Academic Qualifications:

* PhD degree in Law and/or other related fields.

 II. Years of experience:

* 10 years of professional experience in development/analysis of environmental legal and policy documents.

* 7 years of working experience in the field of environment.

 III. Competencies:

* Knowledge in the EU environmental acquis and Multilateral Environmental Treaties and Conventions;

* Knowledge of legal and institutional set up in environmental sector in Moldova and Ukraine;

* Fluency in Romanian and Russian. Good working skills in English;

* Experience in academic field and publishing academic articles/materials would be an advantage;

* Experience in working with international organizations would be an advantage;

 Proven commitment to the core values of the United Nations, in particular, respecting differences of culture, gender, religion, ethnicity, nationality, language, age, HIV status, disability, and sexual orientation, or other status.

UNDP Moldova is committed to workforce diversity. Women, persons with disabilities, Roma and other ethnic or religious minorities, persons living with HIV, as well as refugees and other non-citizens legally entitled to work in the Republic of Moldova, are particularly encouraged to apply.

Documents to be included

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

1. Brief proposal explaining why you are the most suitable for this work;

2. Financial proposal (in USD, specifying the total lump sum amount as well as the requested amount of fee per day);

3. Curriculum Vitae.

4. Offeror’s letter confirming Interest and Availability.

Financial proposal

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e. whether payments fall in installments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR. In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump sum amount.