ECONOMY Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek considers the mass privatisation of Slovakia's energy sector a mistake, as the state has lost influence and control, the SITA newswire wrote.
"I would be very happy if we succeeded in creating a Slovak energy holding that would unite individual types of energy through divisions of gas, power, crude oil in order to regain control," Jahnátek said while presenting the "Strategy of Energy Security in Slovakia until 2030" to the students of University of Technology in Košice.
"We must create a counterweight to what we have privatised in recent years."
Slovakia once produced the cheapest energy in the European Union, but last year its energy was ranked the second most expensive for the production sector among the 27 EU countries, Jahnátek said.
"This is the result of privatisation and of the fact that the state does not have control over production facilities," Jahnátek said.
Jahnátek said no other country has as deregulated an energy sector as Slovakia.
Furthermore, even if energy consumption is to be reduced by one percent annually as planned, the energy sector will still need investment of about Sk600 billion (€18.5 billion) by 2030 in order to reach production potential, he added. This is being accomplished through the rewiring of at least 15 power stations from a current of 200 kV to 400 kV, he said.
The state is still searching for a suitable financial and structural model that allows it to retain control.
"I think that some projects will be supported in which the state will own at least 51 percent," Jahnátek concluded.
24. Mar 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports