Government hints at legal action re PV Energy deal

From left, Peter Virdee, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Former Minister of Energy Asot Michael, and Utilities Minister Sir Robin Yearwood during the opening of the airport solar plant in February 2016. (File photo)

It appears that the government may follow through on plans to file a legal challenge against the management of PV Energy.

Government officials are attempting to get the British energy company to supply batteries that are needed to power various solar projects, including the one at the international airport, which the company was contracted to complete in 2016.

PV Energy was asked to either provide the batteries or compensate the government for a reported $4 million paid by the current administration.

More than a year later, Utilities Minister Sir Robin Yearwood told the Observer AM radio show yesterday that legal action may be the only option at this time.

“I am not at all happy with how it is going, not at all, and so we had monies which is still in the bank up to now and I stopped them from getting that money to buy batteries.

“We are not satisfied with how this is going; the Prime Minister and them had a chat and they were supposed to start doing everything but from the time the meeting was finished we haven’t heard nothing from them and I honestly and personally feel that is heading towards the courts,” Sir Robin revealed.

The first part of the project, a 3 MW facility, is located on approximately nine acres of land and includes fully computerised operational and monitoring facilities integrated into APUA’s system control network.

The 10 MW initiative is a joint project involving the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, APUA and PV Energy.

This project has seen a number of controversies over the years as one of the men who was involved in a US$4.3 million fraud scandal over a decade ago, Jo Hanns Dieter Trutschler, was said to be connected to PV Energy.

According to a 2003 report from the United Nations’ Office of Internal Oversight Services, Trutschler illegally diverted US$4.3 million from “the public electricity provider in Serbia” to a bank account under his control in Gibraltar while he was working in Kosovo in 2002.

At the time, he was a senior staff member of the UN’s interim administration mission in Kosovo, a job he apparently secured using fake academic qualifications, according to the UN report.

Apart from being an employee, Trutschler has another connection to PV Energy through his wife, who owns a company that owns shares in PV Energy, while Peter Virdee is the principal of PV Energy. — The Daily Observer

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  1. “ALP Birdbrains”

    Who prepays for a commodity before delivery? PV Energy saw these ALP morons coming a mile down the road. FOB, CIF, LDP…

  2. Who are these people we have in government? It appears to me that the primary motive in awarding contracts is how much kickback they can get rather than value for the people’s money. Why can they never find reputable individuals and companies to work for the government? It is obvious that they did not do due diligence on these people or they did not care. They pay for solar panels and don’t get batteries.
    Yes take them to court and less see if they demand the repayment of the bribes that may have paid back.

  3. Our very incompetent corrupt politicians. Or should I say competently thieving politicians. They are telling us they prepaid for services they didn’t get. Bring on the law suit. Hope I don’t grow a white beard before this happens. How come all them labour ministers are Sir this and Sir that. Is this the best Antigua has to offer?

  4. In that picture above. I see three blind mice,plus one. They were outwitted by one in the above photo.

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