Report: RWE investment projects in Serbia, what went wrong?

6. May 2013. / News Serbia Energy

Although the construction of the new “Nikola Tesla” TPP in Obrenovac was announced at the beginning of a mandate, nothing has happened so far.

Martin Smic, Deputy President of German Company RWE’s Board, said on annual meeting in Edsen that construction of the new block in TPP “Nikola Tesla B3” is not in the plan and that there is no study about this project.

His statement put into question the announcements of Energy Minister, Zorana Mihajlovic that “government decided to RWE build this plant”.

Mihajlovic stated this after the visit to Germany and negotiations of the First Deputy President of the Government, Aleksandar Vucic with representatives of this German company in September last year when common statement was signed, as well as memorandum for understanding in strategic cooperation.

-Signing the contract is the first, but very important step in construction of TENT B3, 700 MW strong, because government decided that this plant should be constructed by German Company RWE – Minister Mihajlovic said then.

Signing of this memorandum supposed to arrange, as it was confirmed, investing 1,2 billion EUR in TENT B3 by German strategic partner, as well as more than a billion in hydro potentials which Serbia wouldn’t return in money form, but within green KWHs.

This signing was interesting because RWE had already given up the tender EPS had announced for TENT B3 with an explanation that Germany terminates the construction of nuclear power plants and decides not to invest in energy capacities based on coal.

Was this signed memorandum only one in the row of empty promises? Maybe because before this memorandum EPS has signed cooperation memorandum in November 2009 and July 2010 and joint company was established in August 2011 “Moravske hidroelektrane” which is responsible for planning, projecting and construction of 5 HPPs on Velika Morava with total strength of 150 MW. This investment is 352 million EUR worth.

Petar Skundric, Energy Minister in former government and current Prime Minister’s Advisor, said, when he was asked why every energy memorandum ends this way, that he was against signing of both memorandums.

-I don’t have anything against cooperation with RWE, but Serbia doesn’t have much time to wait. Former government waited on RWE’s decision more than three years and it prolonged terms on their request. We have made the whole frame how we want to realize TENT B3 and RWE and they announced that they are not interested in realization at very end of mandate so I didn’t understand why we are signing the same agreement with them again- Skundric stresses.

Memorandums are nonbinding documents that define future steps of cooperation. Memorandums should accelerate projects’ realization and not to become an obstacle for other serious strategic partners to enter business realization- Skundric emphasized.

There are signed memorandums with two more world’s renowned companies that are waiting the response from government related to further conversations in this project. He says that this is not only business that stopped and that it is the same situation with Italian Company “Edison” about investment in Kolubara B. Conversations with these potential investors are not continued with planned dynamics and there is a big possibility that we’ll need to look for the new strategic partner for this project also. It is important to continue conversations with other partners that are ready to invest.

Skundric reminds on construction of new block in Kostolac which was launched successfully by former government successfully launched next to different obstructions in EPS and the state. Skundric added that he is not satisfied with flow of project’s second phase realization, because the contract for this project supposed to be signed already and he added that he doesn’t understand what we are waiting for and which attitude is popular about this project.

EPS didn’t comment statements from RWE that there will be nothing of this job because it is a question for Ministry of Resources while Minister didn’t answer to the questions related to these claims that came from Management’s top of the German Company.

Source;Serbia Energy/Politika/Agencies

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