Montenegro: MANS and Green Home claims Ministry of Economy supports energy lobby and electricity traders, new energy development strategy under questioning

31. July 2013. / SEE Energy News

Network for affirmation of nongovernmental sector (MANS) and Green Home estimated that draft of energy strategy is based on arbitrary data from Ministry of Economy that is announced to be the most consistent supporter to energy interests’ lobby in Montenegro. Those NGOs stated that confirmation to their claims are given by data about EPCG’s business for previous year delivered to regulator that show this company has not imported one KW of electricity during November and December last year.

“Exactly that time period matches the stoppage of EPCG to deliver electricity to the Aluminum Combine KAP when this business was taken over by national Montenegro bonus”, it was stated from MANS and Green Home.
According to the Strategy Draft, as they explained, electricity deficit is one of the crucial reasons for construction of new energy sources in Montenegro while future needs are based on unrealistically projected economy growth that doesn’t match with Governmental projections and even less with those that are coming from addresses of respectable financial institutions.

“Next to that, the document completely ignores the scenario where KAP is put down from the list of domestic sources. It projects situation where this factory is working in full capacity until 2020. The strategy predicts that the rest of industry will also work in full capacity so it is required to provide bigger amount of electricity”, it is stressed in the statement.

Those facts and official data are denied by Ministry of Economy and their projections of future electricity deficit like one of the crucial reasons for construction of new energy sources- NGO believes.
MANS and Green Home state that they have sent official comments to the Ministry, asking this institution to upgrade Strategy by using real and correct data and return it to the public discussion.
Comments were made by expert Peter Nelson which is engaged in the scope of regional project “Program of South East Europe for Sustainable Energy Policy” which gathers 17 organizations from regional countries together with MANS and Green Home with SEE Change Net at the top.
“Comments indicated crucial lacks of strategy and the concrete recommendations for its upgrading were given. Nelson discovered that Ministry has illegally changed the document which was offered citizens to comment during public discussion”, it was stated from two NGOs.

They state that Ministry of Economy has judged Nelson’s independence and expressed concern for his independence in the letter they sent to him which was signed by Deputy Minister Miodrag Canovic.
“They criticize Nelson for giving an interview to the daily press what gives them right to suspect in his independence. This was the only response to the more than 50 pages of comments. We think that this attitude of the Ministry toward participants of public discussion is absolutely unacceptable- it is said in the statement where they add they had informed EU delegation in Montenegro about everything.
Two NGOs have called Ministry of Economy to answer on delivered comments.

Director of Sarajevo’s SEE Change Net, Garet Tankosic Keli has stated that Nelson is engaged in the scope of regional project “Program of South East Europe for Sustainable Energy Policy” which goal is for NGOs “to go further than protest” by using “determined advocacy “in order to start a dialogue with Government so the expert help from consultants in asked in this case.

“So we tried to organize a meeting between Nelson, Ministry, Covi, EPCG, EK and KFV. EPCG accepted and then canceled the meeting and Ministry agreed after EK delegation had intervened. You decided for meeting on condition that you don’t answer his questions. Considering that one role of public consultation is to inform publicity, Nelson has agreed to participate an interview with our approval”, Keli Tankosic states.
He called ministry to give up on debts in Nelson’s independence and to organize meeting with him so they can help in solving real problems. Tankosic has sent this letter in the name of MANS, WWF and Green Home.

Source; Mans/Serbia Energy See desk

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