Thursday, August 9, 2012

Privatization of combined power plant mentioned in Gorila file will not be canceled

Prosecutor set aside motion of former minister of interior who wanted to cancel privatization of company Paroplynový cyklus (PPC).

The company has operated combined cycle plant generating electricity and heat from burning natural gas since 1998. It yearly supplies volumes of 1.193 TWh of electricity and 2,600 TJ of heat.

In March 2012 the current MP Daniel Lipšic filed a complaint on the General Prosecution of SR and argued that the privatization by Penta Group that happened in 2004 was unlawful and caused Slovakia damage of 15 billion Slovak crowns (ca. €15 mil.).

His motion followed after the sale was mentioned in Gorila file.

Prosecutor: Too late

The spokeperson of Regional Prosecutor´s Office Bratislava confirmed on Wednesday for media portal Aktuá that legal action will not be filed since the conditions were not met. The prosecutor concluded that the complaint came too late and the 3-years period for objection had passed.

According to Mr. Lipšic during the sale the state had guaranteed PPC profit up to € 500 mil. based on overpriced 25-years long agreement with electricity producer Slovenské elektrárne (at that time fully state enterprise). In March he had told media that the sale price itself (2 billion SKK/66 million EUR) had been under-valued and Penta had not offered the highest price in the bid for 90 % share owned by National Property Fund.

The spokeperson of Penta had refused these allegations and said that all previous agreements had been re-negotiated to PPC´s detriment.

Lipšic: Not over

On Wednesday Mr. Lipšic reacted that no person in Slovakia doubts about extremely disadvantageous sale except for the General Prosecution (GP) and he sees it as a proof of the need for direct election of its prosecutors by people.

The following day GP responded to his words. They explained the case had been moved to appropriate regional prosecution. The GP said he was making a political campaign and misleading the public.

However, the former minister of interior claims the deadline has not passed. For Sme newspaper Mr. Lipšic said that in this case 10-years period for natural monopolies should apply since PPC had an exclusive agreement with Slovenské elektrárne.

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