“New Kosovo” PP violates the laws of Kosovo - KOSID seeks an investigation

Prishtina, 10 February, 2017 - Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development (KOSID) organized a press conference announcing the requests sent to the State Prosecutor's and EULEX Office in Kosovo, to initiate investigations on the development of the Power plant project, ‘Kosova e Re.'

Given the numerous violations deriving from the process, in violation of the Public Procurement Law and the lack of basic analyses, KOSID considers that the continuation of this project will cause great financial, economic, social and environmental damages in Kosovo. Therefore, an investigation of this process is extremely important in order to protect the public interest.

Violations and irregularities of the project, ‘Kosova e Re', were identified through the chronology published by KOSID, “A short history of a big failure of energy policies in Kosovo.” Since the beginning of the project idea for the new power plant, there is a lack of explicit references to which Kosovo laws were applicable.

Full chronology can be found at this link: 
http://kosid.org/file/repository/KOSID_Chronology_English.pdf 

According to this chronology, KOSID identifies that KNPP project, since from the time it was an idea, and thus far as a potential project for construction, has carried forward numerous violations, irregularities, changes in generating capacity etc. Above all, more alarming are the Kosovo’s law violations from the project, which commence from the Law on Public Procurement, Article 32.4, which even though requires that during the conduct of a procurement activity to have two or more bidders, in the case of NKPP, the tendering process has continues with one single bidder – Contour Global.

Furthermore, the Government is giving false information on the procedural developments of the project and that the project has been exempted from almost every law possible, such as: the Law on Public Private Partnership and Concessions in Infrastructure and Procedures (03/L-090), the Law on Public Private Partnership (04/L-045) and the Law on Public Procurement (03/L-241).  The legitimization of such a thing was made by a decision of the Government of Kosovo No. 08/17, dated 01.06.2011.

The Government’s Decision (No. 08/17) states that: ‘the Law on Public Private Partnership (No. 04/L-045 published on 25.11.2011) was not appropriate for the project, since the provisions of this law do not apply to projects where potential bidders have already been pre-qualified. Nevertheless, on April 5, 2013 on a press release of the Ministry of Economic Development it was stated the contrary, that ‘New Kosovo’ project will be implemented with a Private Public Partnership.

These violations of the laws in force in the country, the Government of Kosovo is justifying by relying on procurement procedures in accordance with good practices and procurement guidelines as defined by the International Development Association of the World Bank. According to KOSID, World Bank standards or those of any other organization cannot suspend Kosovo’s laws in force, since they cannot be legislative basis for Kosovo but only a guideline for the process. Furthermore, these standards require full transparency of the process, but the government has never been transparent with this project.

Moreover, the process for building the proposed power plant is being pushed without the completion of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The EIA is a process which should determine if the project is feasible, show to what extent the project will harm the environment, show the expected social implications from this project, and show what the electricity price will be after the construction of this power plant. Moving ahead without this important assessment is a pure violation of the Law No. 03/L-214 on Environmental Impact Assessment, which is mandatory for power plants over 50 MW. The World Bank also failed to finish and publish the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) study which would serve to inform the World Bank’s Board of Directors in whether or not to support and approve the Partial Risk Guarantee (PRG) for the Proposed New Power.

In addition to law and procedural violations by the proposed “New Kosovo” Power Plant, mining associated with the Kosovo Power Project will forcefully displace, putting at risk of project-induced impoverishment, over 7,000 Kosovars. Furthermore, there are additional concerns relating to air pollution, and financial burden on taxpayers. A 2017 report from the International Renewable Energy Agency indicates that there is cost-competitive renewable energy potential in Kosovo through solar PV and small hydropower plants.

Even though NKPP project has been under development for more than 10 years, basic questions such as the capacity, business model, technology that will be used, financial cost etc. of the plant remain unanswered. KOSID requires for the NKPP to be canceled, taking into account the numerous violations during these 10 years. If Kosovo continues with this trend, for another ten years it will have extremely serious problems. Therefore, it is important to work on cleaner alternatives that can be brought to life faster, ensure appropriate energy supply for its citizens, and more cost-effectively than a new power plant.

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