Prishtina, 14 February 2012 The report of the independent expert panel supports the TPP Kosova e Re Project and its components, recommending to the Government of Kosovo to advance the proposed project as soon as possible, with the aim of improving the security of electricity supply and mitigate environmental pollution, stated the Minister of Economic Development, Besim Beqaj.
These comments were made by Beqaj during a common press conference with the head of the expert panel, Dereck Taylor, after a presentation of the independent expert panel report and discussions with civil society representatives, whom provided their remarks and recommendations on the report.
Beqaj said that the Ministry of Economic Development, acting through the TPP Kosova e Re Project Steering Committee, is in the verge of finalizing the Request for Proposals for the said project, in line with the Kosovo Energy Strategy and applicable legislation.
I say this based on the findings of the report compiled by the expert panel hired by the World Bank, which represent an additional basis for our work and which analyze the project from the perspective of adherence of coal-fired energy generation projects with the criteria set forth in the strategic framework for development and climate changes he added.
MED head said that the project for TPP Kosova e Re, and its components, aim to improve security of electricity supply in Kosovo by providing secure base-load electricity using domestic sources lignite from the Sibovc mine; and by addressing other impacts. This will be accomplished through the development of two new 300 MW units (of TPP Kosova e Re), rehabilitation of existing generation capacities (TPP Kosova B) and opening of the new mine.
According to him, from the competition aspect, the Project is addressed within the framework of the Electricity Market Model, which provides for a competitive electricity market in Kosovo, and takes into consideration existing generation possibilities in Kosovo. This model aims to attract and facilitate investments, improve security of supply and promoted economic growth.
In relation to the tariff impact, Minister Beqaj said that according to the legislation, tariffs are adopted by the Energy Regulators Office, and should be cost-reflective. This means that tariffs should reflect new investments; however, they should not be higher than the regional prices, because electricity in Kosovo is based on lignite-combustion, which does not have a high cost.
Minister Beqaj underlined that the Government is paying special attention to social and environmental considerations and promised that all recommendations presented by stakeholders will be taken into consideration.
For his part, the head of the independent expert panel, Mr. Dereck Taylor, said that the TPP Kosova e Re Project meets all six World Bank criteria and takes into consideration high standards pertaining to coal-powered energy generation, while also providing a set of specific recommendations to the Government.
According to him, the Government of Kosovo wishes to provide adequate and reliable supply, and to find a way to decommission the highly polluting TPP Kosova A, while the World Bank will assist Kosovo in finding a balanced solution for its energy shortages.
He said that Kosovo needs new generation capacities and that the Kosova e Re Thermal Power Plant project is currently the optimal solution which needs to be complemented by other alternative sources.