Renewables

Croatia’s Kermas wants judge out from BiH wind park dispute

Croatia's Kermas BiH wind park dispute

Photo: Nicole Klesy from Pixabay

Published

February 4, 2020

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Published:

February 4, 2020

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After the concession for the 51 MW project was pulled a year ago over missed deadlines, Serbia-based Omega plus is suing Kermas Group’s subsidiary for EUR 38.2 million. Eol prvi, their joint venture in BiH, didn’t manage to install the wind park in Nevesinje worth EUR 76.6 million.

Power producer Kermas energija doo has challenged the authority of the magistrate in a case in Bosnia and Herzegovina against former partner Omega plus doo from Serbia. The Croatian company even asked the embassy to react to alleged bias and monitor the trial in Trebinje resulting from failed project Trusina, Capital.ba reported. The two firms’ venture in BiH was supposed to install a wind park.

Eol prvi was supposed to bring the planned 51 MW online in November. The nearby Municipality of Nevesinje in the country’s south has a 3% share in the project envisaged to be on its territory.

The concession for Trusina was awarded in 2012 to the firm founded by Omega plus

The Government of the Republic of Srpska, one of the two entites making up BiH, awarded the concession for the wind park in 2012. It was finally pulled last March as the enterprise “missed all the deadlines,” the article notes.

Trusina was estimated at BAM 150 million or EUR 76.6 million. The 15 turbines for Trusina were going to come from Vestas. The municipality has counted on BAM 700,000 in annual income. Kermas Group is also registered in London and has several branches and affiliates.

The venture was supposed to get 15 turbines from Vestas

The lawyers are trying to recuse Smail Begović, a judge in the District Commercial Court in Trebinje, as he is also in charge of the case where Omega plus sued Kermas for EUR 33.7 million in lost profit and another EUR 4.5 million in debt.

Namely, the company registered in Belgrade claims it was paid only for 27% in Eol prvi instead of the 87% that it transferred as founder to Kermas energija in 2014.

Kermas is trying to oust Eol prvi’s chief Zlatko Mandžuka, who also runs Omega. The Croatian side is accusing him of an attempt to shift 67% of the BiH wind park project back to the Belgrade-based firm’s ownership.

The firm headquartered in Belgrade claims it was paid only for 27% in the project instead of the 87% that it transferred to Kermas

Begović stepped in last year and rejected Kermas energija’s initiative to block the transaction. His decision led to paralysis in the joint venture, but the verdict was overturned at the High Commercial Court in Banja Luka, Srpska’s capital city. The process had to start from the beginning.

The same tribunal should soon rule on whether the judge should be disqualified, the media outlet learned.

Furthermore, Kermas sued Begović for EUR 2,000 in damages as he canceled a hearing.

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