Plans for 'world's largest solar farm' collapse

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A planned 1 GW photovoltaic plant worth approximately €1.75 billion (US$2.3 billion) in Serbia has ended in acrimony after Maltese project developer Securum Equity Partners International (SEPI) and Serbia’s ministry of energy, development and environmental protection yesterday accused each other of infringing an agreement signed in October.

SEPI announced yesterday it has sent a termination letter to Serbian authorities for the OneGiga project after the government in Belgrade refused to provide the developer "with the appropriate land for the construction of the largest solar park in the world."

SEPI now plans to submit a €160 million damages lawsuit to the International Court of Arbitration in London.

The OneGiga project was conceived as a mega solar farm of 100 photovoltaic plants, each with a 10 MW installed capacity.

SEPI claims allotted land was inappropriate

SEPI decided to terminate the agreement after the Serbian government allegedly failed to provide at least 3,000 hectares of land plots in one of the country’s regions with the highest potential for solar energy production, based on an analysis provided by the investor.

Although the energy ministry delivered a list of 30,000 hectares in southern Serbia in November, SEPI concluded only 135.5 hectares of the land offered was suitable and corresponded to the criteria in the agreement.

Assistant energy minister Dejan Trifunovic told state-run news agency Tanjug yesterday the government will not lose any arbitration lawsuit and does not intend to pay any compensation to Securum.

According to Trifunovic, Serbia is in a position to sue Securum because the company did not keep its side of the agreement and did not make any investments.