Parliamentary Committee again Suspends TEŠ6 Debate
The debate, which was interrupted already a week ago as the committee felt that TEŠ failed to provide the final figure on the total cost for the construction of the new generator, continued today in a similar vein and was interrupted for the same reason.
What started as an open session continued behind closed doors after MP of the opposition Positive Slovenia (PS) Gašpar Gašpar Mišič asked representatives of French company Alstom, the main equipment supplier in the project, whether its was willing to lower its price.
Alstom told the press after the session that it had held talks with TEŠ management in recent weeks and offered additional support to the project. "We hope that these talks will contribute to a positive solution regarding obtaining sources of financing for TEŠ6," the company said.
At the start of the session, the head of TEŠ owner, the state-owned power utility HSE, Matjaž Janežič, pointed to the financial consequences of delays in the project, saying that a 60-day suspension of the contract with Alstom would bring EUR 50m in additional costs, while a 120-day suspension would cost over EUR 75m.
If the contract was terminated, penalties would need to be paid alongside damages for hitting the company's profit, while EIB and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which gave loans for the project, would withdraw from it and the money would need to be paid back.
In that case, HSE and TEŠ would need a capital increase, while the Premogovnik Velenje coal mine would have to be closed down with a special law, Janežič warned.
Janežič and TEŠ head Simon Tot assured MPs again that the end value of the project would not exceed EUR 1.3bn, but the committee nevertheless demanded more information from TEŠ and decided to suspend the session until this information is provided.
State secretary at the Infrastructure and Spatial Planning Ministry Igor Šalamun said that the committee had requested additional explanations from TEŠ based on the latest data obtained from the power plant and Alstom.
Representatives of NGOs who were present at the session again called for scrapping of the project, highlighting its enormous and unjustified costs.