Montenegro will not sell EPCG

, SEE Energy News

The Montenegrin Government has not yet adopted a privatization plan for this year, but the position of the relevant Ministry of Capital Investments is that power utility EPCG should not be privatized.

The Government said that the Law on Privatization stipulates that privatization is carried out in accordance with the annual privatization plans adopted by the Government on the proposal of the Council for Privatization and Capital Projects, which will be published in the media. The privatization plan is prepared on the basis of proposals from the competent state administration bodies and state funds. However, the Government has not yet received the initiative for the preparation of the decision on the privatization plan for 2021.

When asked whether it plans to privatize EPCG this year or in the coming years, i.e. the entry of foreign partners – investors in the ownership structure of the most important state-owned company and whether there is interest in buying state shares in EPCG, the Government said that the position of the Ministry of Capital investment is not to privatize EPCG.

However, the Government expects interest and joint investment of foreign partners and the state-owned company in the field of renewable energy sources. The Ministry of Capital Investments is of the opinion that EPCG, especially when it comes to projects related to renewable energy sources (wind farms and solar power plants) should find foreign partners who have the necessary references, or know-how, to work together on the implementation of these projects, said the Government.

In 2009, the Italian company A2A, a former shareholder of EPCG, paid 436 million euros for 43.7 % of EPCG shares. At the beginning of July 2017, A2A offered the Government a put option in accordance with the shareholders agreement, which stipulated the sale of all A2A shares in EPCG for a total price of 225 million euros. The state now owns 88.66 % of the shares, while EPCG owns 10 % of its own shares.

The partnership with A2A has contributed to EPCG being in a better position today than it was before the arrival of that Italian company. At the moment, the company is completely liquid and solvent, which is a good base for investment and planned projects of the company, it was said recently from EPCG.