The Serbian government concluded a confidential contract with the Norwegian company Rystad Energy stipulating consultancy services in the energy sector, and following the signing, it approved the purchase of EUR-50-mln-worth of equipment, as per a special government decree signed by Prime Minister Ana Brnabić.
This second agreement (on the equipment purchase) is also ‘strictly confidential’ and was carried out without a public tender under the pretext that the state would otherwise be obliged to provide information whose disclosure would harm its interests.
The Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy, whose assignment under the contract is also kept ‘strictly confidential’, carried out an analysis of the current situation in the Serbian energy sector and provided recommendations on urgent purchases to be carried out before the winter season.
The document also states that, in the period from 1 January to 31 August, Serbia spent just over EUR 700 million on importing electricity. In August alone, when Serbia normally exports electricity and as a result, generates revenue from it, the country imported and spent around EUR 94 million.
Rystad’s analysis also states that the price of electricity in Europe has increased 13-fold and that Serbia has paid a high price for this also due to the insufficient domestic production by the national power provider EPS.
The Norwegian company has also compiled a list of critical assets and services for which an urgent purchase is proposed. There are 51 items on the ‘urgent list’ -spare parts, coal mining, off-road vehicles, lubricant, cables, etc., all worth almost EUR 50 million.
The purchase was approved by the Serbian government on 6th September, and Miroslav Tomašević, director of EPS, is listed as the person responsible for its execution. The same government document says that there would be no public tender launched and that the entire purchase should be treated as ‘strictly confidential’.
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