Serbia: Old investments in power gen facilities raise refunding request, Croatia seeks two billion EUR from Serbia12. February 2015. / News Serbia Energy
Croatia plans to request from Serbia the given investments of “Electric Power Industry of Croatia” in Thermal power plant Nikola Tesla TENT from Obrenovac. “Investment” of 120 MEUR increased due to interest rates. They also demand free electricity for a year.
Croatia seeks from Serbia as much as two billion EUR of debt for investments in thermal power plant “Nikola Tesla” in Obrenovac and the authorities from Zagreb should soon officially start this issue!
This was confirmed to Serbia Energy by one of the directors of the “Electric Power Industry of Croatia” and thus effectively opened another “angry” theme in the fragile relations between the two countries.
As reported our source, the Croatian side refers to its alleged investment in TENT before the breakup of Yugoslavia, which, according to their calculations, amounts to about 120 MEUR. In HEP calculated that the investment together with interest rates now would be about two billion EUR and thus will be the number at the request which could soon arrive in Belgrade. In addition, Croatian HEP also intends to seek from Serbia free electricity for their annual consumption.
In the Government of Serbia and EPS did not want publicly to comment on these new demands from Croatia. But, unofficially, we are told that it was a political issue and that it was “open for the local party’s use”.
– We are aware of the claims that have dated two decades ago and you have to believe that our country has a strategy how to proceed if that request officially arrives from Zagreb. But if their story had been firmly established, believe me that then they would not have waited 20 years to open it – says interlocutor from the Government .
On the other hand, the debt that “Electric Power Industry of Croatia” has to neighbors is “taboo”. Several hundred million EUR for never-paid electricity to Republika Srpska, Croatia does not mention. The situation is different also in the case of hydropower plant “Dubrovnik”, because in that case Croatia would have to pay immediately the big money to Republika Srpska, which, obviously, does not have. Namely, the power plant in Dubrovnik was part of the three power plants in the nineties of the last century, all of which are in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and today are an accumulation potential of this country. “Electric Power Industry of Serbia” has assumed an obligation of Republika Srpska to clear the bills, but experts stress that EPS will likely have to seek international arbitration if it would not be able to collect the claim, and it looks like they will not. Because of outstanding finance from the past, Croatia still cannot even realize the project “Dubrovnik 2”, although there are proposals to find a model for debt repayment to “Electric Power Industry of Serbia” precisely through the construction of this building.
For now in “Electric Power Industry of Croatia” do not want to talk officially about debts and claims of debts. In all of this there is a lot of politics, and the further development of the Croatian-Serbian relations will be crucial for the resolution of the debts of the past.
Zagreb would like to collect now its claims from Serbia. On the other hand Serbia proposes to clear bills after the succession to the former common land, roughly the same as what they sought, and the Slovenians around the Ljubljana Bank. Similar problems do not bother only Croats and Serbs, but also Slovenians are interested to settle the debts of the past and their investment in power plants in BiH. So recently has been launched the arbitration to determine how much BiH owes to Slovenians from the time when the northern Yugoslav republics invested in power plants in the economically poorer republics, and the final accounts have not been reduced since the breakup of the former state.
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