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State loses interest in SPP purchase as gas consumption declines in Slovakia

In 2012, the Economy Ministry announced a plan to gain full control of the parent company of Slovakia’s dominant gas utility, Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP), but just a few months on, the situation has changed due to the company’s losses, which now amount to tens of millions of euros.

In 2012, the Economy Ministry announced a plan to gain full control of the parent company of Slovakia’s dominant gas utility, Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP), but just a few months on, the situation has changed due to the company’s losses, which now amount to tens of millions of euros.

However, if the state doesn’t buy the loss-making company it will have no other option but to subsidise it, the Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote on March 21. Sale of natural gas to households has had the biggest impact on SPP’s figures, resulting in a loss of almost €50 million in 2011.

Overall gas consumption in Slovakia last year fell by around 4 percent when compared to 2011, SPP spokesman Peter Bednár told the TASR newswire on March 20. He characterised the situation on the gas market in Europe as an ongoing surplus of supply over demand. However, when the Slovak market is assessed in terms of overall consumption, he said, it can be viewed as stable. SPP enjoys a 66-percent market share in Slovakia. It expects a 79-percent share in the household segment in 2013 and a 60-percent share of the market for corporate clients.

The state owns a majority stake (51 percent) in SPP via the Slovak Property Fund (FNM); the rest was recently bought by the Czech firm Energetický a Průmyslový Holding.

Sources: Hospodárske Noviny, TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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