Montenegro, The state must fight to defend the right to share in Bileć Lake

, SEE Energy News

Montenegro must fight to defend its right to share in Bileć Lake and should not run away from international arbitration in that case, it was said yesterday in the Parliament during the discussion on the state of the energy sector in the last three years.

– The share of Montenegro’s watershed in Lake Bileć is 40 percent. Studies have shown that 448 gigawatts should belong to Montenegro, which is a quarter of the production of Piva and Perućica – said Momo Koprivica (Democrat), adding that the hydroelectric plant on Lake Bilećko, which supplies electricity to Croatia and BiH, was built without the consent of our state.

– To this day, Montenegro has neither money nor energy from it. We have to fight to defend that right, it will probably be necessary to approach the international legal resolution of the dispute and we should not run away from it, we just need to prepare well – emphasized Koprivica, stating that the institutions must be involved in solving this issue, while Branko Radulović (PZP) said that he does not know whose interests are those who do not understand that the waters are shared.

– I don’t know how to sit down at the table and come to an agreement about Lake Bileć. If not, international arbitration is the solution – said Radulović.

No members of the opposition attended yesterday’s debate. The President of the Board of Directors of the Energy Regulatory Agency, Branislav Prelevic, presented to the deputies the situation in the energy sector in the last three years, indicating that 2020 and 2021 were crisis years, the likes of which have not been recorded in the history of energy.

– Losses in the distribution system in 2020 are decreasing compared to 2019. At the beginning of 2021, consumption is recovering after covid, while in the middle of 2021, a new crisis is on the horizon, resulting in an increase in electricity prices – said Prelevic.

He emphasized that within the legal deadline until August 2020, two umbrella documents in the energy sector have been established – General Energy Policy Guidelines and the National Climate Energy Plan.

– In these situations, speculator investors will use us as prey, and serious investors will bypass us – said Prelevic.

DF deputies praised the leadership of EPCG and their colleague Milutin Đukanović, who heads the board of the state energy company, stating that he achieved significant results and improved the standard for citizens, because he did not increase the price of electricity. Jovan Vučurović led the way in praise, claiming that if DPS had remained in power today, citizens would pay 400 to 500 euros per month for electricity.

DF leader Andrija Mandić said that what EPCG did by not increasing the price of electricity was the biggest contribution made by any structure in Montenegro to every citizen. This, he believes, is more help than salary increases through the “Europe Now” program.

– The management of EPCG made sure that 650 million euros remained in your pockets, and the indirect savings are much higher. If electricity prices had risen, you would have to pay two and a half euros for bread, inflation would be extremely high – said Mandić, addressing the citizens.

According to his calculation, if electricity prices were increased, those whose bill is 30 euros would pay 135, and those who pay 100 euros would pay 443.

– A miracle would happen, the entire economic system would collapse if there was no company that should be the engine of Montenegro’s development – concluded Mandić. B. D.

Selling EPCG corrupt or good business

Prelevic responded to Jovanka Bogavac’s (DF) assessment that there have been no investments in the energy sector in Montenegro in the last 20 to 30 years, stressing that the situation is different in reality.

– In the last ten years alone, 380 million euros were invested in CGES and CEDIS, companies that were worth less than that amount in 2012. These are investments in the transmission and distribution network. When it comes to investments in production, two new wind power plants were put into operation in that period, as well as several small hydropower plants – added Prelevic.

He believes that the sale of EPCG, which was criticized by Bogavac, is a good deal because that company was sold to the Italians for 420 million euros, and later bought for 210 million. Bogavac said that it was a mistake that EPCG was put on the drum in the first place, while Radulović said that the sale of EPCG was one of the biggest corruption deals of Milo Đukanović and Silvio Berlusconi, Pobijeda writes.