Energy CEO claims decarbonisation plan reason for his ousting

Engineer try to save environment by pulling a banner of new green city

Ljubljana – Robert Golob, the long-serving CEO of the indirectly state-owned energy company Gen-I, has said the reason he failed to get endorsed for another term was that the “politics” turned down a decarbonisation plan drawn up by Gen-I and other players.

Addressing reporters on Thursday, Golob announced that Gen-I would quadruple its profit this year on EUR 3 billion in revenue. “Profit is important because you can use it to finance your key mission – cheap energy for all consumers and Slovenia’s decarbonisation.”

Noting the urgent need to decarbonise the country, which is also a business opportunity, he said Gen-I had drawn up a plan that governments would as a rule.

“The plan is feasible. We can decarbonise the whole energy industry by 2035 and that’s the scenario we have drawn up,” but which he said was rejected by politics: “It gave the instruction the vote ought to be against. That’s a tragedy for Slovenia.”

He believes the project is the reason for him having to leave rather than some secret privatisation plan as everyone had been notified of the project.

Golob, who has been at the helm of the company since 2006, failed to get the go-ahead for another term at Tuesday’s shareholders meeting, which also failed to appoint two replacements on the management board.

He said the current management would continue to serve until the end of its term on 17 November, emphasizing that Gen-I was too large and too internationally involved a company to be left without a management board.

If the two shareholders, Gen Energija and GEN-EL, fail to appoint a new management, an interim team is to be appointed by a court, but Golob said such a scenario would lead to the company’s demise so he urged for the partners to find a solution that is best for the company.

He believes the plan to oust him is politically motivated even though everyone denies that.

“Can you understand that a person, intoxicated with power, announces replacements but when they start implementing them they realise they may not have been serious and that the responsibility is to great and they hide?” he said.

The comment was in reference to Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec describing the allegations of political staffing as baseless. Golob believes politicians should accept responsibility for their actions.

Tone Krkovič, a former army brigadier who was tried in the Patria defence corruption case along with PM Janez Janša, also appeared at the press conference with Golob to confirm his allegation of political interference.

Krkovič, who has been responsible for promotion of solar power at Gen-I for the past year, said he had learnt a while ago that Rok Snežič, a fellow prisoner of his during his time at Dob prison, was advisor to PM Janez Janša.

Krkovič thus called Snežič, who told him that Golob would soon be “removed”, something that would “agreed at a lunch with SDS secretary general Borut Dolanc”.