The state has abandoned an idea that emerged in the wake of the gas crisis in January, to construct its own gas reservoir with a capacity of 1 billion cubic metres of gas, Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek said in Bratislava on October 20.
"This way was financially demanding. It could have been financed either from the state budget, or at the expense of increased gas prices," said Jahnátek, explaining that in one way or another, it would have been at the expense of consumers. "We used the position of the state and have moved the financial burden to existing gas providers, therefore it hasn't affected end consumers at all," said the minister, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Slovakia currently has reservoirs with a capacity of around 2.72 billion cubic metres. Jahnátek also pointed to the fact that licences for construction of reservoirs were given to around 30 investors, but they have not made the agreed investments for years. He told businessmen gathered in Bratislava that his ministry is planning to draft legislation that will set deadlines for investors to construct the reservoirs. "When they don't manage it [within the set framework], the licence will be taken away from them, and we'll give real investors an opportunity," said Jahnátek. He added that it is mainly the Nitra area, Záhorie in the far west of Slovakia – where most of the existing reservoirs are located – and part of eastern Slovakia that are particularly suitable for gas reservoirs.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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