Environment

ContourGlobal abandons Kosova e Re project, exits coal altogether

ContourGlobal abandons Kosova e Re project, exits coal altogether

Photo: Josep Monter Martinez from Pixabay

Published

March 17, 2020

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Published:

March 17, 2020

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The foreign investor has faced a setback with regulatory hurdles and financing drying up for the planned lignite-fired thermal power unit. ContourGlobal told shareholders it wasn’t able to meet deadlines and that it is scrapping Kosova e Re as it exits the coal sector.

The emphasis has shifted to clean technologies and there will be no more investments in coal, ContourGlobal Plc said. The company based in the United States and listed in London informed investors in a quarterly financial update that it gave up on a controversial thermal power plant project of at least 450 MW in the Balkans. The development of the Kosova e Re facility, which was supposed to run on the said fossil fuel, “is incapable of reaching its required milestones,” it added as it revealed it completely exits the segment.

The coal-fired system would have replaced obsolete thermal power plants using lignite and covered half of local demand. ContourGlobal cited “the political situation.”

President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Brandt said Prime Minister Albin Kurti is “publicly opposed to the project” and accused his cabinet of “inaction.”

Change in political landscape

Kosovo’s* new government was sworn in last month. The old cabinet has clung onto the plan even after the World Bank scrapped it and the Energy Community challenged the legality of state aid.

According to the contract, Serbia’s breakaway province was supposed to provide guarantees estimated at EUR 350 million by May or risk losing EUR 19.7 million in penalties. There was no immediate word on whether the two sides came up with an agreement to abandon the project.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
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