• English
  • Eesti

Estonian court leaves outcome of Tootsi wind farm properties’ auction in force

Eesti uudised, Estonian news - eteap April 22, 2019

Baltic News Service. 22nd of April, 2019

The Tallinn Circuit Court has turned down complaints by the wind energy companies Raisner and Eesti Elekter and left in force a decision of the state forest management company RMK to sell off the land plot of a prospective large wind farm at Tootsi in southwestern Estonia in a public oral auction.

The second-tier court found that contrary to the claims of the plaintiffs, the procedure of the oral auction was not non-transparent and potential bidders were not treated unequally in it. Everybody had the possibility to take part in the auction and make their best bid, spokesperson for the court Anneli Vilu told BNS.

The companies Eesti Elekter, owned by Andres and Oleg Sonajalg, and Raisner, owned by Harry Raudvere, have previously said in the media that in their opinion the auction of the Tootsi property is taking place in the interest of Enefit Green, renewable energy subsidiary of the state-owned energy group Eesti Energia. Enefit wishes to set up a wind farm on said property.

The supervisory board of RMK decided in October 2017 to sell off the Tootsi property in a public oral auction as an asset not necessary for the management of state forest. The supervisory board decided to hold the auction on Nov. 8 the same year.

The dispute in court was over whether the auction held by RMK was illegal in that RMK was not entitled to sell off the property under the Forest Act. The plaintiffs also argued that RMK has subjected them to unequal treatment compared with Eesti Energia and the procedure was not transparent.

The first-tier court satisfied the complaint in the portion concerning a three-week advance notice period, which was illegal as it would not ensure the best offer for the state. Under valid law, the sell-off of property by auction is notified at least two weeks in advance. The norm in question has been established to defend the interests of the bidder, who is entitled to demand that an auction be notified to the public no less than two weeks in advance.

Valid law would allow the organizer of an auction also to notify an auction more than two weeks in advance. The application of a longer advance notice period may be justified, for instance, in the event of an untypical, specific of complex auction. The fact that RMK has established longer advance notice periods in other auctions does not create a subjective right for the plaintiffs to demand longer advance notice periods than set out in the law.

A three-week period could violate the rights of the plaintiffs and be illegal if circumstances were established in the judiciary proceedings that would have allowed to conclude that due to the established deadline the procedure was non-transparent or persons were treated unequally.

The second-tier court annulled this portion of the lower court’s decision, finding that for the establishment of a longer notification period exceptional circumstances would have been required, which have not been identified in said case.

The decision of the first-tier court concerning the company Tootsi Tuulepark OU of the Eesti Energia group took effect, as no appeal had been filed against that portion of the decision of the first-tier court.

Tootsi Tuulepark OU is a company of Nelja Energia group, which Eesti Energia acquired last year.

Also the portion of the lower court’s judgment regarding the payment of procedural costs was revoked, leaving the costs of the first-tier procedure incurred by AS Eesti Elekter to be borne by the plaintiff.

The procedural costs of the parties to the proceeding in the appeals stage will be borne by the parties themselves.

The 160-hectare property of the would-be wind farm is located in Metsakula village in the territory of the North-Parnu rural municipality and is made up of 40 cadastral units, 38 of which are meant under the detailed spatial plan for the establishment of wind turbines and two for wind measuring towers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

« »

nike factory outlet kobe 9 elite polo ralph lauren outlet online air max 90 pas cher polo ralph lauren pas cher fake nike shoes new basketball shoes tiffany free runs what the kobe 8 nike air mag big size jordans nba shoes