The Sme daily has reported that profits made by the Penta financial group from its purchase of power producer Steam-Gas Cycle (PPC) were not as high as were presented by Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic at a press conference on March 5 during which he alleged that the 2004 privatisation was carried out unlawfully. PPC’s final revenues were affected not only by the market price of electricity, but also by the fact that a contract signed between PPC and Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) could later be modified, the daily reported.
An analysis prepared back in 2004 by the Economy Ministry apparently stated that the state would lose revenue of Sk1.5 billion (about €50 million) a year since SE, according to a contract valid till 2013, had to buy some electricity produced by PPC.
However, those interested in buying PPC could not be sure that it would be able to continuing selling the power it generated SE, the country’s dominant power producer (and at that time also the purchaser of power produced by other generators), at an advantageous price – something which the privatisation contract for SE, which was itself sold at around the same time, made clear, Sme wrote.
Ľuboš Vančo from audit firm KPMG said that such uncertainty would have affected the final amounts bid for PPC.
At his March 5 press conference, Lipšic said that Slovakia might have lost Sk15 billion (about €500 million) through what he alleged was the disadvantageous sale of PPC. His argument rested mainly on the claim that SE had to buy power from PPC for a rate above the market rate.
However, Penta spokesperson Martin Danko said that the conditions under which PPC currently sells the power it generates to SE were actually negotiated two years after its privatisation, Sme wrote.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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