Interblue Group Europe, which clams to be the legal successor of the US-based Interblue Group that bought a large tranche of Slovakia’s carbon dioxide emission quotas during the previous government, has refused to terminate its contract to buy the emissions quotas, Agriculture and Environment Ministry State Secretary Martin Ružinský said on August 17, the TASR newswire reported.
“In a letter sent to the ministry, the company expressed disagreement with termination of the contract concluded between Slovakia and the original Interblue,” said Ružinský. The Environment Ministry, then headed by Jozef Medveď (Smer), said it was “opting out” of the contract earlier this year. Concerns with how the contract was managed prompted former prime minister Robert Fico (Smer) to remove the ministry from the control of his then coalition partner the Slovak National Party. The Environment Ministry was subsequently cancelled and its functions given to an enlarged Agriculture Ministry.
Ružinský reported that the Agriculture and Environment Ministry is considering its response to the letter, even though Interblue Group Europe hasn’t provided sufficient evidence that it is really the legal successor of Interblue Group. Back in 2008, Slovakia sold 15 million tonnes carbon-dioxide emissions to Interblue Group at €5.05 per tonne, even though neighbouring countries had obtained significantly higher amounts for their quotas. Interblue itself later sold the quotas on to Japanese companies at €8 per tonne, according to former Interblue project manager Rastislav Bilas. The contract stipulated that Interblue would pay an additional €1 per tonne if the proceeds of the sale were spent on so-called green projects in Slovakia, money which has not so far been forthcoming. The company later said that it had transferred its rights to Interblue Group Europe, which is based in Switzerland.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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18. Aug 2010 at 10:00