Power grid boss quits amid green energy fraud scandal

Andis Pinkulis, the board chairman of Sadales Tikls power distribution operator, has quit his post after Economics Minister Arvils Aseradens suggested he might bear responsibility for allegations that some combined heat and power (cogeneration) plants obtained their green energy operating licenses by fraudulent means.

A statement from the Latvenergo power generation company published on the website of the Riga stock exchange November 1 said:

Today the Shareholders’ Meeting of AS Sadales tīkls reviewed a resignation letter from Andis Pinkulis and passed a decision to recall him from the duties of the Chairman of the Management Board. In his resignation letter, which is addressed to the Shareholders’ Meeting, A.Pinkulis bases his decision on assuming the responsibility for the shortcomings in the control of the company's internal regulations. 

Until the new Members of the Management Board are elected, the Management Board of Sadales tīkls AS will perform its duties with three Members of the Management Board: Baiba Priedīte, Inga Āboliņa and Raimonds Skrebs, the company said. The duties of the Chairperson of the Management Board will be carried out by B.Priedīte who has worked in the Management Board of Sadales tīkls AS since 2016.

An open competition will be held to fill in the vacant positions of the Members of the Management Board of Sadales tīkls AS.

As previously reported by LSM, the scandal broke into the mainstream after investigative journalism show Nothing Personal suggested licenses had been fraudulently obtained and that in some cases energy production classed as ''green'' was in fact coming from mobile generators.

The responsible minister, Ašeradens, is also coming under pressure for oversight faulires, though he has in fact already announced his intention to step down in connection with another matter, but was persuaded by Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis to stay on a while longer. 

Sadales tīkls AS is the largest distribution system operator in Latvia, which distributes electricity to more than one million customer sites, with its service covering 99% of the territory of Latvia. The company ensures the operation, renewal and scheduled development of electricity distribution networks, supervision of electricity consumption, loss reduction measures and electricity tracking, as well as formation of new connections. Sadales tīkls AS is supervised by the Shareholders' Meeting, whose interests are represented by Latvenergo AS as the Shareholder of AS Sadales tīkls.

Latvenergo Group is the largest pan-Baltic power supply utility operating in electricity and thermal energy generation and trade, natural gas trade, electricity distribution services and lease of transmission system assets, and is the owner of Sadales tikls. In turn all shares of Latvenergo AS are owned by the state and held by the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia.

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