Slovakia’s primary gas utility, Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP), stated that it had a financial loss of €200 million in the regulated segment of household gas due to decisions by the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) in setting prices for natural gas, the SITA newswire reported.
"The gas utility generated a cumulated loss of about €200 million in the regulated segment of households in 2008-2011. I have to stress that these losses have slashed and will continue slashing contributions by SPP to state coffers," stated Jean-Jacques Ciazynski, chairman of SPP's Board of Directors, to SITA on February 13.
ÚRSO, however, dismissed the claims with its head, Jozef Holjenčík, responding that the company has never documented the declared loss in the regulated household segment.
The gas utility said it was most outraged about ÚRSO's decision at the end of last year refusing to approve SPP's suggested 23-percent hike in gas prices and setting the price increase for households at an average of 5.53 percent from the beginning of this year. Ciazynski stated that the regulator had calculated the increase based on a EUR/USD exchange rate and Brent oil price that did not correspond with reality.
Natural gas prices for households may go down by three to five percent, Holjenčík also announced at a news conference on February 9 when he said the regulator started a price review process on its own initiative. He said the reason behind this is a new addendum to the contract between SPP and the Russian company Gazprom which reduces the purchase price of natural gas. Holjenčík said natural gas prices for households should decrease no later than February 15.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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