Open Letter: Political parties/coalitions should present their stance on 'New Kosovo' TPP contract

Pristina, September 3 2019 - We, the group of civil society organizations (Balkan Green Foundation, GAP Institute, Group for Legal and Political Studies and Institute for Development Policy (INDEP)), call on political parties/coalitions in the race for Kosovo's parliamentary elections to submit their position towards the contract for the 'New Kosovo' TPP project.

According to our estimates and studies, the 'New Kosovo' project will be a heavy burden on the shoulders of the citizens and the state of Kosovo. A contract in which to a private operator (Contour Global) guarantees will be given in profit and risk elimination, covers all initial costs and guarantees the purchase of the product without reserve for 20 consecutive years, constitutes nothing more than putting the public potential and capital into the service of achieving high profits for a private company. The contract, therefore, violates the Constitution and the legislation protecting free competition and equality in the market and as such must be annulled!

We remind you that the whole process of developing this project has been accompanied by lack of transparency, legal violations, and changes to the bidding conditions in violation of the Law on Public Procurement, and contrary to the decision of the Assembly of Kosovo no.03-V-272 of April 1, 2010 on the approval of the Energy Strategy 2009-2018.

Furthermore, in October 2018, the World Bank has withdrawn support for the construction of the new power plant on the grounds that the 'New Kosovo' coal-fired power plant cannot compete with the price of renewable energy.

Contour Global has only 30% of the construction capital, of the total amount of 1.3 billion, while 70% will provide it with loans. If this project is implemented, with the terms signed by the outgoing Government, Kosovo will not only ensure to the company the coal and water, but will also provide land at a price of 10 euros per hectare. Whereas, when the power plant is completed, the state of Kosovo is obliged to buy the electricity produced by Contour Global at 80 euros per MW. To do so, Kosovo has already established the public company 'New Kosovo Electric Company' (NKEC), which will buy all the energy from the 'New Kosovo' power plant and sell it to KEDS, a Turkish private company which distributes electricity to the citizens of Kosovo.

Kosovo and its citizens will have to pay €185 million a year, or €3.7 billion over 20 years for this project. The subsidy money will come from the Kosovo budget and tariffs raised for electricity so that the new public company NKEC respects the contract for 20 years. Subsidizing €3.7 billion over 20 years from Kosovo's budget means less investment in infrastructure, security, education and health.

Therefore, in order to assess your commitment to protecting the public interest, we request you to make your position to this contract known.

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