Tragicomedy With Thermo Plant TEŠ 6 Investment Goes On


"We don't have time to engage in a witch hunt for what happened in the past," said Košorok of the state-owned HSE, which controls TEŠ, while adding that "nobody will escape accountability in case their guilt is proven".

He stressed he was not speaking only of the previous management but "managements" and did not exclude a detailed audit of past operations, arguing that the project had possibly been seriously mismanaged.

Dermol said that the talks with Alstom would include efforts to push forward the date of the completion of the project, now expected in November 2015. While this will not make up for the EUR 140m missing, Dermol said that each month would save EUR 3m.

Dermol added the talks would be very demanding, since "it is a fact that the contracts have already been signed", but he hopes that some contracts can be renegotiated or that Alstom will give up some of the bonuses it secured in the past.

Dermol moreover explained that the EUR 140m do not have to be secured immediately, although it needs to be examined when this will be necessary. "For now the financial situation is resolved until about the end of the year," he said.

Košorok and Dermol meanwhile reiterated today that the project, whose costs have risen to EUR 1.44bn from what was an initial estimate of EUR 600m, did not suddenly become 140m dearer, but that certain provisions causing the hike had been known already in December 2012 when MPs passed the law granting state guarantees for TEŠ 6.

Košorok told the parliamentary Finance and Monetary Policy Committee and Infrastructure and Spatial Planning Committee last week that the costs of the core investment had not been rising, but that eight annexes to the contract had been signed since 2008, pushing the total costs of the project up.

Head of a commission overseeing TEŠ 6 Marko Tandler moreover told the press today that EUR 900m had been spent on the project so far and that all the facilities secured by the European Investment Bank and the EBRD had been drawn. The construction is running normally, with around 1,200 people presently on the site.

Meanwhile, Simon Tot, who was in charge of TEŠ between 2010 and 2013, rejected most of Košorok's and Dermol's claims regarding the causes of the cost increase, saying that the previous managements of TEŠ and HSE had brought the costs back into the framework demanded by the state and in January this year the project was still executable with the commitments given.

Explaining that TEŠ was also envisaged to secure part of the funding from its own ongoing operations, Tot said that the costs increase was "virtual" and serving as an excuse to the present TEŠ management for a poorly led cost policy.

Toš is nonetheless in favour of an in-depth audit that will show what caused the present situation.