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IN SHORT BUSINESS

Slovakia faces electricity deficit

DUE TO the decommissioning of some energy sources by 2010, Slovakia will suffer a deficit in excess of 8 TWh of electricity per year, Economy Minister Pavol Rusko told a news conference December 6.

According to the minister, the nation might come to depend on electricity imports.

"Currently, we are exporting some 2 TWh of electricity. In the near future we will be forced to import around 6.5 or 7 TWh a year," the minister said.

"Our strategic intention thus is to fill the deficit."

With respect to a new energy policy, making up the deficit will require an investment of Sk70 to 75 billion (€1.2 billion).

Some of the costs are expected to be covered by Enel, the company chosen as the new strategic investor in power producer Slovenské elektrárne (SE).

Rusko also welcomed the plan of the Czech Republic's power producer ČEZ, the runner-up in the SE privatization bid, who a few days ago expressed an interest in building a heating power station in Slovakia.

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