The EIB has committed itself to support the project with €550 million, and the EBRD with €100 million. However, a critical report by the Slovenian Ministry of Economy seriously questions the economic viability of the project. As a consequence, the government will not issue state guarantee for the €440 million first tranche of the EIB loan.
– The decision by the Slovenian government is welcome, as the project has no serious plans for carbon dioxide capture and storage, and is heavily polluting, says Eivind Hoff, director of Bellona Europa. An assessment of the project’s CCS-readiness completed in 2010 was strongly criticized for being superficial.
The Slovenian Ministry of Economy identified issued so serious that results in the report were handed to the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, the General Police Directorate and the public prosecutor. Among these issues are superficial calculations of the economic viability of the project and failure to respect public procurement rules, making them susceptible to corruption. A slight increase in the price of emission allowances, compared to the project’s estimates, would make it uneconomic.
NGOs now call for the European institutions to withdraw support for the project.
– The EIB and the EBRD should need no additional reasons to withdraw all European public money from this project right now, comments Piotr Trzaskowski, form the NGO Bankwatch climate and energy coordinator, in a press release.
Trzaskowski notes that in addition to be very finically risky, the project is highly unsustainable.
– We have known from the beginning that the new block at Sostanj is a bad investment in terms of the sustainability of the Slovenian energy sector, as it would make it impossible for the country to meet its climate targets over the next decades, says Trzaskowski.