The Environment Ministry regards the contract with the US-based company Interblue Group for the sale of the country’s excess emission quotas to be terminated, Environment Minister Jozef Medveď said at a press conference on March 3, the TASR newswire reported.
Medveď explained that this company went out of business in December 2009 and that the ministry has received no documentation confirming any transfer of rights to a firm called Interblue Group Europe based in Switzerland. He intends to take legal action to obtain the additional €15 million that Interblue was supposed to pay for so-called green projects.
The contract goes back to 2008 when Slovakia sold 15 million tonnes of emission quotas to the Interblue Group for €75 million at €5.05 per tonne. The deal was harshly criticised by opposition parties and received huge media attention because neighbouring countries sold their quotas directly to other countries for €10 per tonne or even more. Subsequently, Interblue headquarters in the US were allegedly found to be located in a garage.
According to the contract, an extra euro per tonne should have been paid for green projects undertaken in Slovakia with the proceeds but this payment was not made. Interblue Europe representative Jana Luetken said in early December that the projects weren’t well defined and that the company would not pay the €15 million to Slovakia.
Because the Environment Ministry now considers the contract for the sale of carbon-dioxide emission quotas with the Interblue Group to be terminated, it has prepared for sale another package involving 67 million tonnes of emissions, including 35 million tonnes that were originally contracted to Interblue, Medveď told the TASR.
According to the minister, the emissions will be put on sale at a price of around €8 per tonne and not at €5.05 per tonne, the amount paid by Interblue. TASR. More detailed information is available at http://spectator.sme.sk/articles/view/38068/2/whos_running_interblue.html.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
4. Mar 2010 at 10:00