For the first time since the beginning of the story of the Unit II of TPP Pljevlja, the EPCG is also considering a scenario in which this investment would not be realized and additional funds would be invested in the existing unit. In the request for the issuance of an integrated permit for the Unit I of TPP Pljevlja addressed to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPCG projects that the existing unit will operate at least until 2030, which would require additional investments of €86 million.
After shutting down the existing unit, the EPCG estimated that another €17 million would be needed to shut down all plants. It is not stated when this could happen, since the uninstallation is linked to whether the unit II will be built at all, which is still a big question.
The first scenario involves investing in the existing plants and continuation of work and recultivation of the Maljevac landfill, construction of a new landfill and construction of air and water treatment plants.
According to the second scenario, the Unit II would be built and it would imply shutting down of the thermal power plant. It would be started in 2060, since the EPCG projects its work until then.
However, due to climate change problems, the European Union demands that all thermal power plants be shut down by 2050, while it has recently been announced that this will probably have to be done much earlier. Therefore, it is not clear why the EPCG does not take this aspect at all, when it comes to the possible Unit II construction.
The Unit II investment has long been a key point of dispute between the government and the Italian company A2A, which at the beginning of this month activated the option of leaving the EPCG. According to this option, the government has the right to purchase its share package for a price of €250 million. A2A opposed the announced Unit II project because of it was not cost effective. According to what is stated in the request for an integrated permit, not even the State, as the majority owner in the energy company, is sure that the project will be carried out.
MANS has long time indicated that the investment in the Unit II is unprofitable and that its negative effects will be much higher than the benefits expected and that this harmful project should be given up.
Obviously, not even the government, after many years, is able to present the citizens with the valid arguments of why Pljevlja and Montenegro should get another big polluter, what will be the final price of such an adventure, who would pay for it, and especially who will have direct benefits from it.
MANS Investigation Center
Ines Mrdovic, Coordinator