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Thousands of jobs in times of crisisADVERTORIAL
14 Oct 2013 Business
More than 100 companies from all corners of the country are involved in the project
The completion of the Mochovce power plant, which was started when Slovakia’s whole economy was in a period of crisis, is progressing. Another important milestone, which was met in September, is the installation of plumbing and components of the so-called System of Technical Water in the non-nuclear part of the 3rd block of the power plant. This might sound too complicated – the construction of a nuclear power plant is not a simple matter. However, the spokesperson of the Slovenské Elektrárne power distributor, Jana Burdová, said that this is another step towards the safety of the future power plant. To put it simply, this system will secure the cooling of all crucial devices in the power plant, in daily operation as well as incase of emergency situations. This means that in the event of an earthquake or an accident, it will secure the conduction of the residual heat emitted by the reactor. But such an event need not be feared, as the power plant is designed to resist an earthquake even of a magnitude never seen in Slovakia. The tests of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority confirmed this, too, as well as the Europe-wide stress tests.
The certainty of jobs
This project, unique by European measures, has all necessary licenses, and its implementation is entering its final phase. This is good news, as more than 4,600 people will find jobs in the new power plant. It is expected that average wages will exceed €1,600 – i.e. twice the Slovak average salary. As many as 81 percent of employees will be highly qualified experts, such as informatics professionals, technicians or nuclear physicists. After the completion of the 3rd and 4th units, Mochovce will cover as much as 48 percent of domestic electric power consumption. Thus, it will undoubtedly be the most important source of power production in Slovakia. Apart from gaining a stable and safe source of energy, we will thus become, again, a power exporter. We lost this position after the V1power plant in Jaslovské Bohunice was shut down, which we promised to do when joining the European Union.
They managed even without stimuli and subsidies
Big investment projects often rely on various stimuli, state subsidies or tax relief. These face criticism from the media as well as domestic small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs, who call for the same conditions for all. You might therefore be surprised to learn that such a crucial investment as the completion of a nuclear power plant was managed without such support. New units are being built solely from the Slovenské Elektrárne company’s own resources. This means that the investment puts no burden on public finances. On the contrary, both the state budget and Slovak businesspeople profit from the project.
The state will profit, too
The Slovak nuclear energy industry has become, after the automotive industry, another important pillar of the economy, mainly thanks to the creation of a considerable number of jobs. Experts of the consultancy company BDO calculated that from each euro invested in the nuclear plant in Mochovce, €2.36 will go back into the economy. How? Through payment of wages, investments into suppliers, their receipts during the completion and the share of Slovak companies in the overall investment. Thus, Slovakia’s economy will have grown in the seven years of the project’s implementation by €5.2 million. The state budget will gain about half a billion euros just in taxes and levies.
Work for domestic entrepreneurs
Slovenské Elektárne is building the power plant with the help of as many Slovak suppliers as possible. Thus, more than half of all orders went to domestic suppliers. Today, more than 100 companies from all corners of the country are involved in the project, including regions with the highest unemployment rates. These companies employed thousands of people of various occupations, including builders, welders, civic engineers, work foremen, logistics workers, technicians and IT administrators. In total, almost 10,000 jobs came into existence in this way, more than 3,650 of which were for med directly at the construction site, with about 6,000 other jobs in follow-up activities. Along with Slovak companies, Czech, Italian, German, French, Russian, and British firms are also working on the project. The level of experience in such an international team, as well as access to the most up-to-date technologies, has increased the industrial skills and education within the project. Experts say that, once again, in Slovakia we have a well-functioning network of companies, which are able to render the highest quality services– which is necessary for the nuclear energy sector. More over, these firms have achieved success in the past in similar projects both at home and abroad.
Did you know? Nuclear power = clean air
The new power plant will also help Slovakia protect the environment. How? Unlike power plants that burn fossil fuels, nuclear power plants do not emit any toxic greenhouse gases into the air. Experts calculated that without the production of nuclear power, carbon dioxide emissions in the European Union would be two-thirds higher. Environmentally clean production is also part of the business philosophy of the Enel Group, the majority owner of Slovenské Elektrárne. Last year it produced 89 percent of its power without CO2 emissions, and after the 3rd and 4th units of Mochovce are finished, this share will amount to more than 93 percent. In other words, the new nuclear plant will avoid 7.5 million tones of CO2 emissions per year. This can be further illustrated by the fact that it would take 344,162 trees to neutralise 7.5 million tones of CO2 emissions.
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