Collapse of highway bridge under construction claims four lives. Initial findings by investigators suggest that the collapse on November 2 of a highway bridge between Kurimany and Iliašovce, both located in the Levoča district, was caused by weak support. The collapse leads to a discussion over the effect that very low procurement bids have on the quality of construction projects. The collapsed bridge was supposed to be part of the cross-country D1 highway section between Jánovce and Jablonov, which is being constructed by a consortium of two companies: Váhostav-SK and Czech firm Bögl & Krýsl. The section includes five bridges. The collapsed bridge was the only one built in cooperation with a subcontractor, the Slovak company Semos. The collapsed frame was supplied by German-owned firm Skruže Weise.
Volkswagen Bratislava starts production of a new model. The Slovak arm of the German carmaker Volkswagen Slovakia launches mass production a new car model, the eco up! that is powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). VW Slovakia invested €1.8 million in the new production.
Slovakia welcomes verdict on Tokaj Wine Region. The General Court of the EU rules that the name “Tokaj wine region” can continue to be used in Slovakia. This means that Slovak wine producers can still use the name on their products. The EU Court of Justice dismisses a lawsuit that Hungary filed against the registration of “wine region Tokaj” by Slovakia for an EU-wide electronic register of protected wine designations, E-Bacchus. The Tokaj wine region is located in both Slovakia and Hungary.
ESET launches new generations of its flagship products. The successful Slovak company active in proactive computer protection releases ESET Smart Security 6, providing all-in-one internet security and ESET NOD32 Antivirus 6, a powerful anti-virus solution. ESET marks the 20th anniversary of its launch in 2012.
U.S. Steel heads for the exit. One of the flagship American investors announces it may leave Slovakia. U.S. Steel Corporation confirms that it has received offers for its U.S. Steel Košice (USSK) subsidiary in eastern Slovakia that are interesting enough to explore. Local media speculate that potential buyers of USSK, which, with 11,000 employees and thousands more in sub-contracting companies, is the biggest employer in the region, might be Ukrainian steel firm Metinvest, Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich through his firm Evraz, or German firm ThyssenKrupp. The media speculates possible reasons for the US company’s decision to sell its subsidy in Košice, including the end of the tax holiday USSK received from the Mikuláš Dzurinda government, the new legislation pertaining to acquisition of CO2 quotas, as well as various stringent standards of environmental protection and requirements on steelworks established by Brussels, which are believed by some to reduce competitiveness with steelworks in Ukraine and China.
Sanofi sells Zentiva Hlohovec to Wood Pharma Holding. The French pharmaceutical company Sanofi sold its Hlohovec-based Zentiva plant producing generic pharmaceutical products to Wood Pharma Holding, a member of the Czech-Slovak investment group Wood & Company.
Slovakia reduces its energy consumption. In the past decade Slovakia, despite its reliance on energy-intensive industries, managed to reduce its energy consumption by 6 percent, from a total of 123 TWh in 2001 to 116 TWh in 2010. Slovak industry has the greatest share of consumption of energy. In 2001, industry consumed more than 44 TWh; at the end of the decade it was over 37 TWh, accounting for 32 percent of total energy consumed in Slovakia.
Slovakia sticks to nuclear power. Slovakia will continue to rely on nuclear energy in the future, Slovakia's Economy Minister Tomáš Malatinský says at a conference on EU common energy policy and energy security.
CO2 on the agenda. Slovakia adopts an allocation scheme governing emissions allowances to comply with EU legislation. Under this new system, to become valid as of the beginning of 2013, the majority of allowances under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) will no longer be allocated for free. Based on the new EU rules some companies, especially those in the energy sector, will purchase EU emissions allowances (EUA), and manufacturing companies should receive a portion of them free of charge while purchasing another portion.
VW SK wins Lean & Green award. The Bratislava-based plant of German carmaker Volkswagen Slovakia wins the Lean & Green Efficiency Award, becoming the “leanest and greenest” car company in Europe. Lean manufacturing or production is an operational strategy derived from the Toyota Production System, and is geared towards eliminating waste and any activities at each stage of production that do not add value to the final product.