IN SHORT

SPP to unbundle transit and distribution July1

THE SLOVENSKÝ plynárenský priemysel (SPP) gas utility is preparing to separate its gas transit activities from its distribution wing as of July 1.

According to law, SPP is obliged to complete this "unbundling" by July 1, 2007, but instead the utility plans to meet the requirement one year early, SPP spokesperson Dana Kršáková said.

"We consider this a significant contribution towards liberalizing the energy sector in Slovakia," Kršáková said.

The requirement that SPP unbundle its operations flows from a European Commission directive. Its main aim is to open the gas network to other gas traders in a transparent manner. The EU directive was absorbed into Slovak legislation through the Energy Act.

Last October the cabinet approved a model for SPP's unbundling. According to the plan, SPP's distribution activities along with its gas distribution assets should be transferred to the SPP-Distribution company, while its transit activities will be run by SPP-Transit. The assets used for transit should remain with the parent company.

The unbundling process will be accompanied by restructuring at the company to make it more efficient, optimize work processes and decrease costs.

SPP is preparing compensation programmes for employees who lose their jobs due to the restructuring.

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