Montenegro: OCCRP partner says coal plant project will benefit PM’s brother

OCCRP partner the Network for Affirmation of the NGO Sector (MANS) has criticized as unnecessary a plan by Montenegro to expand a coal power plant, saying the project is designed to benefit the family of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.

Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo DjukanovicMilo Djukanovic (Photo: OSCE Parliamentary Assemby, CC-BY SA 2.0)The proposed project by Montenegrin Electric Enterprise AD Niksic (EPCG), which is 57 percent owned by the Montenegrin state and 41.75 percent owned by Italian firm A2A, would expand an existing thermal coal plant in Pljevlja municipality by 254 megawatts.

The plant will buy its coal from the nearby Pljevlja mine – in which the prime minister’s brother, Aco Djukanovic, is a 12 percent shareholder. The state and A2A are the other major shareholders.

MANS said there is a risk that the expanded plant will end up buying coal from the mine at inflated prices.

“The Government has left the EPCG and the Pljevlja coal mine to arrange independently the final decision on the price of the coal and margin calculations. That means that the margin calculations will depend from the private interests of the biggest shareholders, A2A and Aco Djukanovic,” MANS said in a press release

“It’s not known as to what percentages the coal mine has calculated its margins, nor whether they are based on market principles.”

MANS has previously criticised the power plant project, saying it was unnecessary to meet Montenegro’s energy needs and would lose the country millions of dollars.