Mochovce fate unclear

The critical financial situation of Slovenskť Elektrárne (SE) may result in the discontinuation of construction on the third and fourth units of Mochovce nuclear power plant. Although no official statements have yet been made, TASR news agency reported that Slovak Economy Minister Ĺudovít Černák has already stated that the blocks would not be completed.
SE has received grants worth upwards of 14 billion crowns in order to finish the construction, but Černák told SITA that stopping investment into the plant would save money and thus keep SE from either increasing gas prices or drawing funds directly from the state budget. His new proposal is to sell the incomplete blocks to a company, who would then find a way to compensate for the losses.


The third and fourth units of Mochovce nuclear power plant may not be opened due to paralyzing SE debt.
photo: Courtesy of Mochovce

The critical financial situation of Slovenskť Elektrárne (SE) may result in the discontinuation of construction on the third and fourth units of Mochovce nuclear power plant. Although no official statements have yet been made, TASR news agency reported that Slovak Economy Minister Ĺudovít Černák has already stated that the blocks would not be completed.

SE has received grants worth upwards of 14 billion crowns in order to finish the construction, but Černák told SITA that stopping investment into the plant would save money and thus keep SE from either increasing gas prices or drawing funds directly from the state budget. His new proposal is to sell the incomplete blocks to a company, who would then find a way to compensate for the losses.

Rastislav Petrech, head of the foreign affairs and public relations department at Mochovce, said that SE would wait on the government's decision and act accordingly, but added that he thought the continuation of construction would be the best solution.

"If it isn't continued, it will have to be destroyed," Petrech said. "But that would cost a lot of money. It seems to me that the prices would be the same whether we destroyed it or continued construction."

The plant's contsruction completion would be, Petrech said, "the best thing for the next future, the next ten years," adding that the third and fourth units could create enough energy that Slovakia could start exporting it to neighbouring countries.

"From my point-of-view, it would be better to complete it," he said. "Within five to seven years is when we would like to shut down V1 [the first and currently only commissioned block at Mochovce], so we should continue construction."

Mochovce nuclear power plant has four units. The first operative unit was commissioned for operation on October 28, 1998. The second unit, currently in the "initial loading" phase, is scheduled to be fully commissioned on December 31, 1999.

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