BELGRADE, Serbia—A Serbian environmental group has filed a lawsuit against Chinese tire maker Linglong International Europe for carrying out construction work on its greenfield tire factory without a permit.
Renewables and Environmental Regulatory Institute (RERI) also has pressed charges against contractor China Energy Engineering Group Tianjin Electric Power Construction Co. Ltd. and private equity firm CRE International Ltd. of Belgrade.
Linglong's plan to build a tire factory in Zrenjanin, Serbia, has been the focus of a continuing dispute between local authorities and environmentalists challenging the approval process for the $947 million project.
In its latest legal challenge, RERI claimed that a site examination in July determined the Chinese tire maker "was performing construction work contrary to the construction permit."
The inspector, it said, ordered the investor to suspend works and requested modifications to the construction permit.
RERI also alleged that Linglong started the construction work without carrying out an environmental impact assessment study.
The group further claimed that Zrenjanin city authorities had "illegally prevented" people from participating in an Oct. 4 public hearing on the environmental impact assessment study for the project.
ERJ has contacted Linglong, requesting comment on this development.