In 2021, the Government of Aragon hired three consulting firms to help it process the flood of renewable energy projects that were flooding the Aragonese Institute of Environmental Management (Inaga). For two years, the three evaluated hundreds of photovoltaic and wind installation files, but two of them(Satel and Calidad y Servicios) were not allowed to analyze a single one of the projects of the giant of this bubble, Forestalia, which has presented most of the renewable projects in the region.
Why were they removed? Because they had previously worked for this business group and therefore would have incurred an incompatibility. In view of these "incompatibilities", the Inaga distributed the dozens and dozens of Forestalia files between the public company Sarga, which analyzed 60% of the total, and the third contracted consultant, Vea Qualitas, which monopolized 40% of the reports on this business group.
But EL MUNDO has in its possession official documents that prove that the consulting firm Vea Qualitas also worked on numerous occasions for Forestalia. Vea Qualitas -whose trade name is Vea Global- coordinated the project, health and safety and construction management of the facilities and activity of a pellet complex of Forestalia Renovables in Zuera (Zaragoza). The document bears the signature of Silvia Juana Serrano, Engineering Director of the consulting firm.
Another example is the Habidite wind farm project, owned by Habidite Energy, a company owned by Fernando Sol SL, a company owned by Fernando Samper, owner of Forestalia. To give another example, the consulting firm also designed and managed the work of the Sella La Hacienda Hotel Complex, owned by Fernando Samper, owner of Forestalia.
The Government of Aragon's specifications for the contracting of the three external consulting firms state that they cannot report on files when they have prepared them themselves, "or when there is any type of relationship of interest with the person, entity or group promoting the file". And Vea Qualitas has been a supplier of Forestalia since at least 2012.
Not only that. In 2020, the same year in which the Inaga received the Forestalia Arapellet project, prepared by Vea Global, the CEO of this company tweeted that she was at an informative breakfast "with speakers such as Pérez Cebrián, from our preferred client Forestalia". The relationship of interest with the wind and solar giant is evident.
On Tuesday, when this newspaper published the first evidence about the incompatibilities of the other two consulting firms, Satel and Calidad y Estudios, the director of Inaga, Jesús Lobera, assured in a press conference that no irregularities had occurred and that all Forestalia's files were made by "Sarga and another company called Vea Qualitas". "Sixty percent of Forestalia's files were processed by Sarga and the rest by the other company I just named". And he explained that this was so because the other two had declared incompatibility.
In fact, he assured that Inaga proceeded to "check that all these companies were compatible with the orders placed with them". Literally.
So, the problem is that Vea Qualitas declared itself compatible when it had exactly the same problem as the other two consulting firms? The Government of Aragon refers "to the technical specifications of the contract to issue reports and environmental assessments on renewable energy where the compatibility of the companies is detailed in reference to the files to be analyzed". "It should always include a certificate of compatibility with the dossier being analyzed, as was required of the three consulting firms in each of the dossiers they reported," added sources from the Government of Aragon. This newspaper has had access to one of these certificates, signed by the director of Engineering of the consulting firm.
It should be noted that from June 2022 the Government of Aragon increased the number of Forestalia files that were awarded to Vea Qualitas. "And we continue to work" with them, Lobera said Tuesday.
This Thursday, but before knowing this information, the president of Aragon, Javier Lambán, said that "if it was found" that any of the consultants who evaluated for his government renewable energy projects was both judge and party, for working for one of the companies that evaluated, he himself "would go to the Prosecutor's Office".
The doubts about the Aragonese Institute of Environmental Management "are interested, with a very clear electoral nuance, and no one has demonstrated a single irregularity," Lambán stressed. "So far we are talking about suspicions and value judgments," he asserted.