A new ministerial order that provides the new terms and conditions applicable to land concessions ("CUOs") granted over State-owned land for the development of NCRE projects ("Ministerial Order"), was issued the Ministry of National Assets ("MNA") and published on the Official Gazette on May 11, 2017.
The Ministerial Order aims to facilitate the existing conditions and support the development of NCRE projects over State-owned land by providing flexible mechanisms to promote the study of energy sources and extending existing terms for the fulfilling of construction and other obligations assumed by concessionaires.
A brief description of the main elements of the Ministerial Order is set forth below:
- Extension of the CUOs' validity term.
The validity period of the CUOs is extended from 30 to 35 years.
- Extension of the construction period.
The construction period of the CUOs is extended from 48 months to 10 years.
- Amount of the performance bonds to be provided by
i) During the construction period, a bank bond guarantee equivalent to 25% of the market value of the land must be provided.
ii) During the operation of the project, a bank bond guarantee equivalent to 50% of the market value of the land must be provided.
- Prospection Permits.
The implementation of monitoring stations and the execution of prospection studies over State-owned lands are eligible for "Prospection Permits".Prospection Permits are granted free of cost and are limited to one hectare and a validity period of 12 months.
- Reserved Areas.
The MNA and the Ministry of Energy are allowed to label certain State-owned estates as reserved areas considered strategic for the development of NCRE projects. These areas will not necessarily be subject to the new terms and conditions set forth in the Ministerial Order.
- Application of the Ministerial Order to Existing
Existing CUOs may be subject to the new terms and conditions set forth in the Ministerial Order, provided that:i) a formal request is filed to the MNA within 90 days as from May 11, 2017; and
ii) reasons stating the impossibility of observing the original terms and conditions are provided.
Depending on the status of the CUO, the request may be subject to the payment of a penalty or a fee.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.