Ljubljana, 13 July (STA) - The parliamentary Finance and Monetary Policy Committee gave its stamp of approval for the state guarantee for a EUR 440m loan for the construction of a new generator at TEŠ coal-fired power plant on Friday after the relevant bill had been stuck in parliament for months.
The nod was expected, as the government decided yesterday to amend the
bill, filed by an opposition MP, with a clause that enables it to pull the
plug on the guarantee in case the price tag on the project - now estimated
at EUR 1.3bn - is to go any higher.
The latest version of the bill
states that before the government actually signs the loan guarantee
contract, TEŠ will have to revise the generator investment programme and
have it assessed by an independent expert.
It is expected that the
National Assembly will discuss the bill at an extraordinary session this
month, as TEŠ wishes to start drawing the EUR 440m loan from the European
Investment Bank (EIB) on 31 July.
The bill proposed by Srečko Meh,
an MP of the opposition Social Democrats (SD), in February has been held up
in parliament after the government demanded extra safeguards, in particular
with regard to costs.
The delay triggered a contract suspension from
main contractor in the project, French company Alstom, in mid-June. The
number of workers on the construction site was scaled back, but Alstom
later relaunched works, agreeing to keep working until the loan guarantee