Companies from the European Union, the US, and China are interested in the acquisition of power utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG), Economy Minister Dragica Sekulić has said.
In an interview with Pobjeda, she said that strong interest implies a greater responsibility in the process of selecting a strategic partner for EPCG.
Montenegro will seek a partner capable of securing greater profits for EPCG and the construction of new production facilities, the minister said.
According to Sekulić, the Montenegrin economy does not need a buyer for EPCG, but a strategic partner to ensure the power utility’s development.
It is equally illusory to expect that enormous revenues can be generated from the sale of EPCG and that the state as a majority owner can secure the company’s sustainable development, Sekulić said, adding that EPCG has 2 exceptional power plants, as well as the best overview of development potentials in the country.
In 2009, Italian energy provider A2A paid EUR 436 million for 42% of EPCG. Eight years later it decided to sell the shares, activating the Put Option and offering them to the Government of Montenegro.
The Put Option envisaged the sale of the entire stake owned by the Italian company for EUR 250 million, paid in seven annual installments. However, the government decided to accelerate the takeover.
In the interview, Sekulić announced that over the next 6 months, the takeover of A2A’s shares will be completed.
Commercial use of submarine cable scheduled for H2 2019
The minister said that the testing of the undersea cable between Montenegro and Italy began on December 14 last year.
Commercial use or electricity transmission between the Balkans and the EU, through the transmission systems of Montenegro and Italy, is expected at the beginning of the second half of this year, she said.
Sekulić also announced the launch of tendering for the Komarnica hydropower plant (HPP) by the end of this year, and the start of work on tendering documentation for a project to build the hydropower plants (HPPs) on the Morača river.