German Ruhrgas talks with Economy Ministry on SPP

Talks in the December 7 meeting between Slovak Economy Minister Ľubomír Harach and the president of the European Gas Organization, Burckhard Bergmann, revolved around the transformation of Slovakia's energy sector and gas industry. Specific emphasis was placed on the Slovak gas storage company Nafta Gbely and the state-owned SPP Bohemia.

Harach said Slovakia was interested in significant cooperation with European gas companies. He informed his German guest of the Slovak government's ambition to create a stable business environment and incentives for foreign investors, saying foreign investments into Slovakia's energy sector and gas industry would likely trigger secondary investments into machinery, electrical engineering and metrology.

Harach said a decision on whether the gas distribution company Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP) would be transformed and subsequently privatized would not be made before next year. However, such a significant step would be preceded by a preparation phase accompanied by extensive consultations with experts.

Bergmann informed the minister of the interest of Ruhrgas in entering the Slovak gas industry, pointing out that a significant portion of gas supplies from Russia destined for Germany is transported via Slovakia. Bergmann also cited effective cooperation with SPP on the Czech market, saying that Ruhrgas has prepared a plan focused on further development of the Czech gas distribution network.

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