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Alstom suspends work on Slovenia coal plant over financing

04 november 2012, 17:34
0
Patrick Kron, chairman and chief executive of French power and transport engineering company Alstom. ©REUTERS
Patrick Kron, chairman and chief executive of French power and transport engineering company Alstom. ©REUTERS
French energy giant Alstom has begun suspending work on a 1.3-billion-euro ($1.67-billion) coal-fired electricity plant in Slovenia after failing to receive financing guarantees from the government, AFP reports citing the plant's director.

"Alstom, the equipment supplier for the coal plant Termoelektrana Sostanj, notified us officially on Thursday it was suspending work on the project," the head of the plant Simon Tot told journalists.

A total suspension of work can still be avoided, however, if the government provides by next week a timeline for providing the financing guarantees, already approved by parliament in July, Tot said.

The government is supposed to provide state guarantees for a 440-million-euro loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to modernise the 600-megawatt Termoelektrana Sostanj coal-fired plant, which accounts for a third of Slovenia's electricity output.

"The state should tell us whether we will receive the guarantees or not, we are running out of time," he added, noting that a complete suspension would raise the cost of the project.

A further 550-million-euro loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) is contingent on the EBRD loan going through.

The two institutions have already provided some 200 million euros in loans for the project.

Earlier this year however, Slovenia's anti-corruption commission issued a report alleging widespread irregularities in the 2008 tender awarded to Alstom.

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