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Heat producers continue to negotiate higher prices with URSO

The Slovak Association of Heat Producers (SZVT) will continue negotiating new heat prices with the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (URSO). However, their current calculations indicate that heat prices should increase up to 3.5 percent from March 1, the chairman of SZVTs' board of directors, Miroslav Obšívaný told SITA. "At the moment we are calculating and analyzing price proposals of natural gas we have obtained from gas utility Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP). The stated heat price increase would partly eliminate growth in natural gas prices. Nevertheless, we will negotiate heat prices with the regulatory authority on Friday," added Obšívany.

The Slovak Association of Heat Producers (SZVT) will continue negotiating new heat prices with the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (URSO). However, their current calculations indicate that heat prices should increase up to 3.5 percent from March 1, the chairman of SZVTs' board of directors, Miroslav Obšívaný told SITA. "At the moment we are calculating and analyzing price proposals of natural gas we have obtained from gas utility Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP). The stated heat price increase would partly eliminate growth in natural gas prices. Nevertheless, we will negotiate heat prices with the regulatory authority on Friday," added Obšívany.

Heat prices for households last grew 0.4 percent on average from January 1, 2008. The average heat price in Slovakia should thus oscillate around SKK 538 per giga-joule this year. However, central heating companies originally wanted to increase heat prices by 10 percent. They argued that SPP raised natural gas prices, which makes up 65 percent of heat price, by 10 to 15 percent.

In late 2007, heat producers used the natural gas price of SKK 10.25 per cubic meter in their formulas, set by the regulator based on crude oil prices and the exchange rate of the Slovak crown against the U.S. dollar, published by the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) in October 2007.

Negotiations between the regulatory authority, heat utilities and SPP also continued at the beginning of this year. Heat producers can also file new price proposals during the year.

The SZVT originated in 1998. It currently associates 76 heat producers throughout Slovakia. At the moment about 450 heat producers operate in Slovakia. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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