Montenegro: A2A and power utilities of Serbia EPS and Croatia HEP over TPP Pljevlja new unit project

, SEE Energy News

Nothing has come out so far from the thunderous project of construction of the second power unit in TPP “Pljevlja“. Croatian interest “on ice“. The Czechs waiting for the opinion of the European Commission

Nothing has come out yet from the story that has been circulating above the misty Plevlja and the river Ćehotina, that the state will embark on the capital project of construction of the second power unit in the local Thermal Power Plant with the help of foreign investors! Indeed, according to the claims of the people from Pljevlja, the story will continue in the following months, until the parliamentary elections, whereas on the field, smoke will be gushing from the only chimney of the already aged TPP. The claims that the Croatians may jump into the construction of the second power unit of the TPP instead of the trustworthy Czech company “Škoda Praha” (the Croatians want to have a share in the Montenegrin Electric Power Industry) are also obscured. Serbia has also been expected to step into this job, particularly after buying 11 percent of shares in the Montenegrin Electricity Transmission.

And during the ongoing speculations about the future investor, Zagreb and Belgrade have entered a “silent war”. At the end of last year, the Croatian “Business Journal” wrote that the takeover of the Electric Power Industry of Montenegro was more a political than a business issue, because the one who bought the Electric Power Industry of Montenegro would have a significant advantage in the race for the energy leader in the region. At that moment, Croatia openly showed its interest in taking over 41.74 percent of the Electric Power Industry of Montenegro from the Italian partner A2A. Now, it is all “frozen” after the constitution of the new government in the Croatian Parliament. On the other hand, in Montenegro, new accusations and bickering have come to life between the representatives of the MANS (Engl. Network for Affirmation of NGO Sector) and other non-governmental organizations and the representatives of the Electric Power Industry with respect to the project of construction of the second power unit in TPP “Pljevlja”. In the MANS, they claim that the project is unprofitable, because it will cost the state 3.5 billion euros, whereas in the Electric Power Industry, they say that the project will not cost more than 450 million, adding that no bank would have granted a loan for an unprofitable project.

– The Government should give up on the second power unit, because it is not economically viable. This is not a project of public interest, because it does more harm than good, according to Ines Mrdović, an activist of the MANS. – If there is an electricity deficit, which we consider to have been created artificially, it should not be resolved through the construction of a new energy source such as a TPP, but the Electric Power Industry of Montenegro should build facilities for renewable energy sources. The investment costs of this project will amount to around one billion euros, and the total costs to 3.5 billion and it will be financed by the citizens through higher electricity bills and, very likely, through new fiscal levies! The government has not included into their calculations the loan interests, the reconstruction of the first power unit, which can be estimated at 60 to 100 million, the opening of new mines, the reclamation of mines, the closing down of the dump site Maljevac, the cost of C02 emissions and the health costs estimated at 2.5 billion euros. This project does not create new jobs, and the Coal Mine cannot financially follow the second power unit project without state aid. The commercial coal reserves are also problematic, these reserves being sufficient for 20 years of operation of the second power unit of TPP.

In the Electric Power Industry of Montenegro, they do not agree with the claims of the MANS, judging the study of this non-governmental organization as blanket and poorly done. The Electric Power Industry of Montenegro has announced that it will submit to the EU Delegation in Podgorica the comments on the text about the economic (non-)viability of construction of the second power unit of TPP which the non-governmental organizations submitted to this company, transmits