Now Kosovo Has the Opportunity to Build a Sustainable Energy Future

Prishtina, March 17, 2020 – Today, the Reuters[1] news agency has announced that Contour Global has discontinued its plan to build the “Kosova e Re” coal power plant. We, the singed below organizations, strongly urge the Government of Kosovo to finally distance from this project and pave the way for the future development of the energy sector in Kosovo.

We have reacted towards this project and this contract from the beginning of the negotiations and the publication of commercial contracts. Through publications and advocacy campaigns, we have given warnings about the economic damage that this contract would bring to Kosovo, the damage to Kosovo’s integration and the harm to the environment. Since 2011, various governments have ignored our organizations’ calls to abolish this for project due to legal violations, economic damages, budget misuse, environmental impact, stifling competition and minimization of integration processes.

At last, even the company that was illegally selected concluded that the realization of this project is impossible and that they will not continue with the project. Contour Global’s announcement that they will not build new coal projects comes also due to a profound shift in the approach of global political and financial stakeholders who are increasingly stepping away from coal projects and instead are focusing on the future of the energy systems, in energy efficiency and energy from renewable sources. It is time for the Government of Kosovo to join this new global trend and pave the way for the necessary transition of the energy market in Kosovo.

We appeal to the new Government of Kosovo to abandon earlier governments’ plans to build a coal-based power plant. Moreover, we demand the abolition of the public company NKEC which was unnecessarily established, damaging the country’s budget and operating without any real function. Also, we demand the cancellation of the contracts signed by the previous government for the engagement of companies for legal advice for “Kosova e Re” in the amount of 800 thousand euros. In addition to political accountability, our organizations consider that there is also a basis for criminal investigations of budget abuse by “Kosova e Re” project management officers.

This marks a victory not only of our efforts, but a victory of the future of the energy sector and the conquest of the public interest in general. Balkan Green Foundation (BGF), GAP Institute, Legal and Policy Studies Group (GLPS) and Institute for Development Policy (INDEP), will continue to contribute to sustainable development in Kosovo.

[1] Reuters. (17 March 2020). ‘ContourGlobal halts plans to build Kosovo coal plant’.