PRISTINA (Reuters) – Environmentalist groups on Monday filed a complaint with the European Union’s energy watchdog challenging the legality of a power purchase agreement for a planned $1.3 billion coal-fired power plant in Kosovo.

FILE PHOTO: Smoke billows out of the towers of the coal-powered Kosovo Power Plant A in Obilic, near Pristina December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Hazir Reka

Kosovo and London-listed power firm ContourGlobal picked on May 3 a consortium of General Electric subsidiaries to build the 500-megawatt plant, which is designed to meet nearly half of Kosovo’s power demand.

The Kosovar government has committed to buying the total output of the plant and the 20-year power purchase contract awaits ratification by the Balkan republic’s parliament.

But environmental activists fear the deal would strain the state