Activ Solar rejects Crimean government claims

Austrian PV company Activ Solar has dismissed comments by the head of the breakaway Republic of Crimea alleging that the company owed some $300 million to Russian banks.

Sergey Aksenov, head of Crimea and the region’s defacto prime minister, recently said on Russian television that Activ Solar’s current debts to Russian banks, including the country’s largest lender, Sberbank of Russia, and VTB and VEB, were estimated at $300 million and said the Crimean government was considering nationalizing the company’s assets in the region.

Speaking to pv magazine, Activ Solar spokeswoman Denisa Lazarescu said the statement that "was distributed in some Russian and Ukrainian media that Activ Solar has a debt of $300 million to Russian banks … is incorrect. Activ Solar does not have any related loan exposure to Russian banks."

She added that Activ Solar did not own any operating solar parks in Crimea.

"Activ Solar, in partnership with local companies, only operates solar parks in Crimea and Ukraine. The company has significantly reduced its activity on the Crimean Peninsula since the end of 2013 due to heightened political and economic uncertainty."

With regards to threats by the Crimean government to possibly confiscate the company’s assets in Crimea, Lazarescu said Activ Solar refrained "from speculating on the potential plans of the Crimean authorities," but also reiterated that the company did "not own any operating solar parks in Crimea and, thus, does not possess any assets there."

Since Activ Solar does not own any operating solar parks in the country, Lazarescu said the company was not directly affected by the unilateral cancellation of the power purchase agreements with Ukraine’s state-owned energy company Energorynok in Crimea.

Activ Solar has constructed an estimated 407 MW of solar capacity in Crimea, 227.3 MW of which has been connected to the grid. In addition, it operates about 250 MW in Ukraine.