IT and the Portuguese State, represented by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Protection, continue to discuss the construction of the Fridão Dam in Tâmega before an arbitration tribunal.
The electricity company, chaired by Miguel Stilwell de Andrade, expects the € 217.798 million conflict to be resolved in the second half of the year.
“A preliminary hearing is expected in the first quarter of 2021 with only a final decision expected in the second half of the year,” the company said in the report and accounts released this Friday by the Portuguese Securities Markets Commission (CMVM).
In February 2019, EDP Produção opened arbitration proceedings to reclaim the amount paid to the state in December 2008 for the right to build and operate the hydropower plant, which was never commissioned.
The Fridão Dam was one of the dams foreseen in the PNBEPH – National Program for Flood Power Plants of the Government of José Sócrates and included the municipalities of Amarante, Cabeceiras de Basto, Celorico de Basto, Mondim de Basto and Ribeira de Pena.
In 2016, the government and IT agreed to suspend the project for three years for reassessment, with their backs being turned from 2019 when a decision should be made as to whether the construction of the hydropower plant should proceed or whether the cancellation is final.
According to the government, IT has abandoned the construction of the dam on the tributary of the Douro, and therefore there is no place for funds to be returned. EDP claims that “at no point” did the government “intend not to proceed” and that even the state “concluded” about the unnecessary implementation “of the Fridão hydropower plant.
According to EDP, the Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE) and the Ministry of the Environment “set out their challenges on April 5 and 8, 2019 with the expectation” that the outcome will be achieved by the end of this year as part of the proceedings to be conducted before an arbitration tribunal entry.