Montenegro: Wind turbines are spinning an affair?

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EPCG shareholders decide to build “Gvozd “wind farm near Niksic; The opposition disputes the selection of contractors from Austria because there were no tenders

As soon as the Assembly of Shareholders of the Montenegrin Electric Power Company made a decision to start construction of the wind farm “Gvozd”, whose investment amounts to € 58 million, the choice of Austrian company Ivicom Holding GmbH as a partner, it opened the space for doubt by the opposition parties. They claim that the election of Austrian company was done without a tender, which is not in accordance with the law.

“All this raises the suspicion that the work was concluded for the sake of one’s private interest. Due to the violation of the Constitution, laws and good business practice, we will file a complaint against the Prime Minister and EPCG for violation of public interest to the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption” – says Dejan Mijovic from URA. – “If there was competition, EPCG could have chosen a partner to build the most efficient wind farm that could compete in the market with the most competitiveness, as there would be no government subsidies for it. Without competition and comparative offers, there is a high risk that Montenegro will receive a wind farm whose production costs will be higher than the electricity prices at which other producers offer them to consumers, so it would not survive on the market. Or, as it has done so far, the EPCG will impose new higher prices on consumers to “cover” higher costs.

Mijovic says that they received a reply from the authorities in the EPCG saying that the Austrians got a job because they had the consent of the Government of Montenegro.

“Knowing that they violate the Constitution, which strictly prohibits the suppression of free competition, management and the Board of Directors of EPCG placed the decision on selecting a partner and launching the construction of the “Gvozd” wind farm to be once again endorsed by a representative of the Government, which controls 76 percent of EPCG shares” – emphasizes Mijovic. – “The decision under the Articles of Association of the company could be made by themselves, without the Shareholders Assembly, because the investment of 60 million does not exceed ten percent of the value of the capital of EPCG.

He claims that last year, the EPCG management also, without prior competitive procedure, selected the Finnish company Fortum and the Indian Steling and Wilson to build a large solar power plant in Brcka Gora near Ulcinj, worth 178m euros.

“At that time EPCG decided without the competition by the statute of morals, but did not seek the prior approval of the Shareholders Assembly, because the share of EPCG exceeded ten percent of the value of their capital” – Mijovic points out. – “The Special State Prosecutor would have to be interested in developments around the EPCG, but nothing is being done”.

The Executive Director of the Directorate for Development and Engineering at EPCG, Ivan Mrvaljevic, announced that the wind farm at Gvozd is expected to start working in 2022.

“We monitored the construction of the “Krnovo” wind farm and concluded that the wind potential at the site was not used enough. It is precisely measurements and analyzes that lead us to the place foreseen by the planning documents of the state and the Municipality of Niksic, which is that additional wind potential is located at the location of Gvozd” – Mrvaljevic reminds.