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EU opens an investigation into an EPC contract for a solar park in Romania

4 April 2024

On Wednesday, the European Commission launched two in-depth investigations into the potential market distorting role of foreign subsidies granted to bidders in a public procurement procedure in Romania.

According to a press release from the community executive, the relevant public procedure was launched by a Romanian contracting authority (Societatea PARC fotovoltaic Rovinari Est S.A.) for the design, construction and operation of a photovoltaic park in Romania, with an installed power of 110 MW. This project is partially financed from the Modernization Fund.

Following the preliminary examination of all submissions, the Commission considered that it was justified to initiate an in-depth investigation for two bidders, as there were sufficient indications that they had received foreign subsidies distorting the internal market.

“During the in-depth investigation, the Commission will further assess the alleged foreign subsidies and obtain all necessary information to determine whether they may have allowed the companies to submit an unduly advantageous bid in response to a tender. Such a bid would could cause other companies that participate in the public procurement procedure to lose sales opportunities”, emphasizes the community executive.

According to the Foreign Subsidy Regulation, companies are required to notify their public procurement tenders in the EU when the estimated value of the contract exceeds 250 million euros and when the company has been awarded foreign financial contributions of at least 4 million euros from at least one third country in the three years preceding the notification.

“Solar panels have become strategically important for Europe: for our clean energy production, jobs in Europe and security of supply. The two new in-depth investigations into foreign subsidies in the solar panel sector aim to maintain Europe’s economic security and competitiveness by ensuring that businesses in our single market are truly competitive and play a fair role,” said Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton.

At the end of last year, the company Parc Fotovoltaic Rovinari Est SA, a company owned in equal shares by Complexul Energetic Oltenia and OMV Petrom, put out to auction the contracts for the construction of four photovoltaic parks with a total capacity of 450 MW.

At the beginning of 2024, the Rovinari East Photovoltaic Park Society announced that it had received no less than eight bids at the auction for the construction of the four photovoltaic parks, according to data from the Electronic Public Procurement System (SEAP).

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