BlueNext Waits for Romania to Confirm Theft of CO2 (Update2)
2010-12-03 17:41:04.542 GMT
(Updates with EU statement fifth paragraph.)
By Catherine Airlie and Ewa Krukowska
Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) -- BlueNext SA is waiting for Romania to
confirm the theft of European Union carbon permits from a cement
maker with two factories in the country, according to the
The Romanian unit of Jonas, Switzerland-based Holcim Ltd.,
the world's second-biggest cement maker, said Nov. 30 that about
15 million euros ($19 million) worth of the allowances, known as
EUAs, were stolen from its account. Holcim asked the EU, which
oversees national registries of the electronic permits, to help
track them down. The EUAs in question are listed on the
BlueNext has asked for confirmation of the theft from the
Romanian National Registry, responsible for operating the
accounts for emissions permits, Paris-based Francois-Xavier
Saint-Macary said today in a telephone interview. Romania must
also clarify who would be the legal owner of the permits if
they've been traded, he said.
"Under French law, assuming the EUAs in an account were
acquired in accordance with the law, the trades associated with
them remain firm," BlueNext said in an e-mailed statement.
"However, the issues surrounding this event remain under
investigation and await final clarification from the Romanian
The EU regulator said it regrets the unathorized access to
an account in Romania's carbon registry and sees no indication
of insufficient security measures in its trading system.
"The recovery of any allowances which are claimed to have
been transferred fraudulently is a matter for national law and
national law-enforcement authorities," Jos Delbeke, director
general for climate at the European Commission, said today in a
statement. "The Commission has no powers to block any such
allowances in a registry account as such allowances continue to
represent legally valid compliance instruments."
Delbeke said the commission is "fully cooperating" with
national authorities to facilitate their work.
The legal ownership of stolen permits is "not
straightforward," according to Owen Lomas, a consultant at
Allen & Overy LLP's climate-change group.
The EU's cap-and-trade program covers more than 11,000
factories and power stations across Europe. Theft of permits
hadn't been anticipated when the EU drafted the laws for trading
carbon allowances, Lomas said. Lawyers have to revert to basic
property law in these cases, he said.
Holcim said a total of 1.5 million permits had gone missing
from its account. The company has two sites in Romania, under
the emissions trading system, which spewed about 1 million tons
of carbon-dioxide last year, emissions data on Bloomberg show.
Romania has the largest surplus of allowances, according to
the data. The country caps about 235 factories and power
stations and had a national limit of 48.6 million metric tons of
carbon dioxide last year. They had a surplus of 25 million
permits after emissions declined.
Emissions permits may have been stolen from other Romanian
companies, according to Andrew Ager, London-based head of
emissions at Prudential Financial Inc.'s Bache Commodities Ltd.,
"Holcim would have noticed the theft whereas smaller
installations may not even yet be aware that allowances may have
been taken from their account," Ager said in an e-mail.
For Related News and Information:
Top Environment Stories:GREEN<GO>
Link to Company News:3681574Z FP <Equity> CN <GO>
--Editors: Mike Anderson, Alex Devine.
To contact the reporter on this story:
Catherine Airlie in London at +44-20-7073-3308 or
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Stephen Voss at +44-20-7073-3520 or firstname.lastname@example.org