Police investigation targets Energetika Ljubljana

Ljubljana – Investigators of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted house searches at seven locations in the Ljubljana area on Wednesday and detained one person on abuse of office charges. Web portals Siol and Necenzurirano report the investigation targetted the city-owned heating utility Energetika Ljubljana.

According to the General Police Administration, two persons are suspected of abuse of office in business and three of complicity. The crime carries a sentence of one to eight years in prison.

The suspects allegedly illegally gained EUR 3.5 million based on a EUR 118 million contract that was made between a Slovenian company and a company from abroad under a public call for applications. The suspects reportedly already pocketed EUR 650,000.

Three dozen NBI investigators were involved in the house searches led by the specialised state prosecution as part of an inquiry that has been under way since 2020.

According to Siol and Necenzurirano, the investigation targets Energetika Ljubljana, while the person detained is Serbian businessman Petar Komljenović.

Other suspects are reportedly Energetika Ljubljana CEO Samo Lozej, technical director Marko Agrež, and director of Javni Holdinga Ljubljana Zdenka Grozde.

The deal in question is said to be related to the construction of the new gas-steam unit of the Ljubljana district heating plant.

In October 2017, Energetika Ljubljana published a public call for a supplier of the main technological equipment for the construction of the gas-steam unit.

Nine bids arrived, and the deal went to Greek company Mytilineos Holdings in 2019.

According to media reports, Komljenović, who has close ties to the family of Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković, lobbied for Mytilineos Holdings.

Construction of the new gas-steam unit started in the autumn of 2020. The new unit is to replace two coal-fired units while the third, which was converted to combine coal and wood biomass in 2008, will remain in operation. The municipality expects a 70% reduction in coal use.

The project is slated for completion this year.