Seci energia deal with Serbia still valid says Serbian energy ministry, discrete reactions on RAI report

7. December 2012. / News Serbia Energy

Serbia will respect the intergovernmental agreement with Italy in the field of energy, which envisages the construction of hydro power plants on Ibar and Drina. The selection of “Seci Energia” as our partner in this business is a decision by the Italian government and the Serbian side had no influence on it. This is how the Ministry of Energy commented on the reports published by Italian television, “Rai 3” that the trade agreements of Italy with Serbia and Montenegro in the energy sector favor certain companies, which gave them a very large financial benefit.

– The new Serbian government has inherited this agreement, and it is logical that the state has awarded this job to “Electric Power Industry of Serbia” – it was stated in the Ministry of Energy. – Italian side had no influence on our choice of company, nor did we have the right to choose a partner company from Italy. We respect international obligations including this agreement. After the Serbian parliament adopts an annex to this international agreement, the realization of the project will start soon. Otherwise, on December 14, we plan to promote the priority energy projects, including hydro power plants from the agreement with Italy.

The website of TV “Rai 3” released a part of the report which investigates irregularities in the implementation of partner selection proccess in the projects which the Italian government implements in Serbia and Montenegro in the field of energy and renewable energy.

The report will be published in full on Wednesday and it was announced with the recording of a joint address to reporters from former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Milo Djukanovic.

Berlusconi and Minister of Economic Development Claudio Schaiola in 2009 launched a project worth several billion Euros in the field of renewable energy in the Balkans. Both public and private Italian companies were involved in this operation, and the project envisaged the construction of mini-hydro power plants in Serbia, and the construction of an underwater line, or setting a sea ground cable between Montenegro and Italy.

“Seci Energia” and EPS have already formed a joint venture (owned 51 to 49 percent) to lead the construction of ten mini-hydro power plants on Ibar, between Kraljevo and Raska. The investment is worth 284 million, with a total installed capacity of 117 megawatts. On Drina, it is the planned to build three hydroelectric power plants of total capacity 235 MW

Numerous agreements Italy made with with the Western Balkan countries to build power plants and sea ground cable between Tivat and Italy are controversial and contrary to EU law, says the report of the Network for Banking Supervision Bankwatch, which gathers European environmental organizations. Italy will, in the opinion of the organization, have greater financial benefit from cheap energy imports, while the Italian company will not have to pay fees for emissions of gas as long as “dirty energy” is produced in the Balkan countries, which are not EU members.

Source Serbia Energy Magazine

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