The government is refusing to pay outstanding electricity bills because it does not recognise the agreement previously signed by the former CTP government with TAHAL, an Israeli water treatment company. The electricity bill currently stands at US$ 2 million.
TAHAL’s water purification plant is located in the tourist development area of Bafra near the Karpaz region and provides water to nearby hotels and villages. It does so based on a contract with the previous TRNC government whereby the government pays its electricity bills. However, when the UBP came to power, it stopped paying these bills and these now amount to US$ 2 million.
The deputy head of engineering at the company, Itai Stadler says that because of these debts, the power is cut off now and again and that this stops work at the plant. He went on to say that if the government did not honour its contract and pay its electricity bills, then they would shut up shop and leave, despite the fact that the company has invested millions of dollars and had a signed contract dating back to 2006.
The Finance Minister Ersin Tatar has called this agreement a disgrace and said that there is no intention to pay the bills, asking, ‘can you imagine that they sell the water and we pay for the electricity?’ Mr Tatar went on to say that the previous CTP government had left a number of bad decisions in its legacy to the next government.
It is understood that after El-Sen cut off electricity to TAHAL for non payment of debts, the government paid out US$ 1.6 million to keep have the power reconnected but refuses to pay any more.
TAHAL maintain that they will mothball the plant unless all unpaid electricity bills are paid.