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Slovakia and Austria negotiate power grids interconnection

Slovak Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek held talks in Vienna on June 25 with Martin Bartenstein, Austria’s Minister of Economy and Labour, on a possible interconnection of the countries' power grids.

Slovak Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek held talks in Vienna on June 25 with Martin Bartenstein, Austria’s Minister of Economy and Labour, on a possible interconnection of the countries' power grids.

Slovak Economy Ministry spokesman Branislav Zvara informed the SITA newswire that the ministers came to the conclusion that the time is ripe for such an undertaking.

"Both agreed that it was necessary to form a working group comprising experts from both countries to negotiate the topic," Zvara said.

The ministers also broached the issue of building a crude-oil pipeline interconnection between Bratislava and the Austrian crude oil refinery at Schwechat, near Vienna.

"We wanted to gain support for this crude-oil pipeline interconnection from the Austrian side, and we were successful," said Zvara.

Slovak crude oil pipeline operator Transpetrol was supposed to have begun building the pipeline across the protected area of Žitny Ostrov using a major groundwater reservoir in the autumn of 2004, but faced opposition out of concern for the environment.

The ministers also discussed plans to build new nuclear power plants in Slovakia. Minister Jahnátek assured his counterpart that safety would also be the top priority, Zvara said, adding that the ministers found many areas of common interest and would continue negotiations more intensively and openly. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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