Social services back NRG deal

  • 2000-07-20
TALLINN (BNS) - Social Affairs Minister Eiki Nestor said on July 14 that a social program guaranteed in the terms of the sale of Estonia's two main electric power stations to America's NRG Energy was the weightiest argument in favor of the deal.

The government has received no plan except NRG's that would contain social and employment guarantees, Nestor said in remarks defending the government's decision to pick NRG as a partner in a joint venture that would get the power stations.

The social terms of the deal are a very strong reason for the government's approval of the plan, Nestor said.

The terms of the agreement place concrete obligations on the buyer of the plants concerning employment, he said.

On the basis of the existing business plan, the main terms of which the government has approved, the state has full guarantee over social issues, the minister said.

Under the main terms of the deal approved by the Estonian government, NRG would establish a $5 million social fund after acquiring majority shares in power plants Narva Elektrijaamad.

The Narva power plants' owner Eesti Energia, whose leaders have bluntly rejected the planned deal with NRG as harmful to the company, has also adopted a long-term social program for the years 1998-2001 totaling 123.4 million Estonian kroons ($7.7 million).