ECHR asks Croatian government to provide information on geothermal power plant project

NEWS 04.10.202314:44 0 komentara

The European Court of Human Rights has asked the Croatian government to state its position on allegations by the Turkish company BLT which has sued Croatia over rulings which, it alleges, violated its right to the use of property and a fair trial in a dispute concerning a geothermal power plant project.

The Turkish investor, an 80% partner in the project to build the first Croatian geothermal power plant in Velika Ciglena near Bjelovar, filed its complaint with the ECHR in November 2021, saying that the conduct of Croatian courts in the dispute violated its rights guaranteed under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Forwarding the case to the next stage of the proceedings, the ECHR asked the Croatian government to say if Croatian courts had secured appropriate legal means for BLT to efficiently protect its business interest in the project company GEOEN and if its being removed from the list of GEOEN members in the court register was contrary to a temporary measure of 7 September 2020.

In a statement for the media, BLT said that the ECHR’s decision confirmed that its 80% stake in GEOEN had been taken away contrary to the relevant Croatian and EU regulations, noting that damage to the project was estimated at more than €250 million.

BLT’s representative in Croatia is MB Holding, which developed and launched Croatia’s first geothermal power plant in Velika Ciglena near Bjelovar.

The Turkish investor, which held an 80% stake in GEOEN, was squeezed out of the project company’s ownership structure by minority partner Dragan Jurilj, that is, his Geothermal Solutions company, which managed to have BLT erased from the Zagreb Commercial Court register as GEOEN’s owner and take over its management.

The ownership of the land on which the power plant is located was also transferred to the once minority partner.

Jurilj has dismissed allegations by the former Turkish partner about it not having had a fair trial in Croatia. “All processes are legitimate and every investor in Croatia must comply with final court decisions, whether they are satisfied with them or not. I’m not happy with all rulings either,” Jurilj said earlier.