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News 12 Nov 15

Kosovo Says US Firm Will Build Power Plant

The Ministry of Development on Tuesday claimed it had reached an agreement with the US company Contour Global to build the new Kosovo e Re power plant.

Petrit Collaku

Kosovo's government says it has reached an agreement with the World Bank and the company Contour Global to build a new power plant and expects to sign the contract soon.

During his visit to the US, Blerand Stavileci, Minister of Economic Development, said he had reached an agreement with Contour Global after negotiations that began in April.

Successful negotiations with Contour Global will pave the way for the signing of a contract with the company for the Kosova e Re - New Kosovo - power plant, a press release from the ministry said.

No other details of the agreement are yet known. The role of the World Bank in the agreement is related to a loan, but it remains unclear how much the bank will invest in the project.

Kosovo’s government stated earlier that Contour Global had proposed to invest a third of the cash in the project while the rest will come from international financial institutions and other lenders.

The government plans to construct two plants generating 300 MW each, and the price for the construction of each is expected to reach up to 1.4 billion euro.

The Kosovo delegation will continue to stay in the US until the end of the week.

The government approved a single bid in the tender to construct the Kosova e Re plant on April 10 and said Contour Global was the preferred bidder.

Civil society groups criticised the use of this procedure for the tender, accepting one offer only, saying it violated public procurement law, which demands at least two responsible bidders.  

The Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development, KOSID, also criticised the government for lack of transparency and information on this project.

“Negotiating 1.4 billion euro from the citizens of Kosovo without the approval of the Kosovo Assembly and the lack of transparency over such great sums represents a serious threat to the credibility and legitimacy of the process," the organisation said.

The organization raised questions about the investment conditions and about who will finance the plant's construction.

KOSID said that according to the World Bank, the price of electricity after the construction of the Kosova e Re plant will rise by about 300 per cent.

"That would be unbearable for the citizens of Kosovo who even today face an enormous burden with electricity price bills," KOSID said.

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