NEWS

Authorities scrambling to save Peloponnese waste project

authorities-scrambling-to-save-peloponnese-waste-project

The long-stalled Peloponnese Region Waste Management Project has hit another snag.

For starters, European Commission says the project, as it stands, has no chance of getting EU funding because it is too expensive. Greek government officials are also divided, some blaming faults in the submission for funding and others blaming the Commission itself. And Terna Energy, which, as the preferred bidder, is the private party in this public-private partnership (PPP), concurs that the submission for funding was faulty but argues that a resubmission can solve the problems and the project can start by the end of October. Terna Energy also refutes some Finance Ministry officials’ position that the project can be partly completed.

The waste management project involves the construction and operation of an integrated waste management network for the entire Peloponnese region, able to accept 200,000 tons of municipal solid waste per year, including the waste management plants, two waste transfer stations and three landfills. It is considered a priority in an area where much of the waste ends up in illegal dumps.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy sent a letter in June saying that the submission for funding must be revised.

A high-ranking Commission member who spoke to Kathimerini on condition of anonymity said that, as it stands, the project has no chance of receiving funding. “This project is very expensive compared to similar ones in the EU and provides very low levels of recycling. Moreover, it is not aligned with the EU’s new goals on recycling.”

At the Finance Ministry, some blame the departments that submitted the financing proposal of inexperience. Others blame the Commission and its Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs for not bringing the Regional Policy and Urban Affairs and Environment Directorates-General into the discussion until very recently.

Ten days ago, it was decided that the file would have to be resubmitted in its entirety. “It was a bad submission that doesn’t do justice to the project,” says Manolis Grafakos, general secretary for waste management at the Environment Ministry.