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ADVERTORIAL

Mochovce for the Slovak economy

The historical investment in the completion of the nuclear power plant in Mochovce, worth more than €3 billion, will pay off. It will provide a far-reaching stimulus for Slovakia and will markedly increase the country’s economic growth during the crisis. This comes from the study of renowned global consultancy company BDO.

The historical investment in the completion of the nuclear power plant in Mochovce, worth more than €3 billion, will pay off. It will provide a far-reaching stimulus for Slovakia and will markedly increase the country’s economic growth during the crisis. This comes from the study of renowned global consultancy company BDO.

The Slovenské elektrárne (SE) power distributor is using its own resources to complete two Units of the Mochovce power plant. The third Unit should be completed by the end of 2014, and the fourth one a year later. SE is not asking the state, which is its 34-percent stakeholder, for any financial assistance or any other form of help, with the exception of support in achieving the joint goal and a stable legal and business environment. Both stakeholders – Slovakia and the energy concern Enel – came to a decision on the oft-mentioned issue of dividends, which they agreed not to pay, but to instead reinvest in completion and modernisation of the plant until 2015.

More money to the state and people

According to the BDO study, the completion will increase GDP by more than €5 billion in seven years. The state will receive in taxes and levies more than half a billion euros, and the operation of the power plant will support the annual growth of GDP by another €1.1 billion. This will be reflected not just in the income of the state, but also in the income of both administrative regions and local administrations, which support this investment. One euro put into the operation of two new Mochovce Units will generate almost three-times its value in the economy, and the impact of nuclear energy on the Slovak economy will be comparable to that of the car industry. Currently, 4,000 people are working directly on the site of the Units, about 6,000 of which are subcontractors and similar business partners. After construction is completed, more than 4,500 people will gain long-term jobs operating and maintaining the power plant, as well as in other, additional activities.

The investment also has an indirect impact on the development of education - reviving the whole sector of nuclear energy and its infrastructure, with access to the most up-to-date technologies - and on the bottom line of development of science, research and highly qualified labour. According to the assessments, salaries in the power plant should rise to two times the Slovak average in the national economy, and four-fifths of employees will be highly qualified experts. “Research and education in the sphere of operating and decommissioning nuclear power plants acquire a new dimension these days,” Vladimír Slugeň, chair of the Slovak Nuclear Association, states in the most recent analysis of domestic nuclear research. According to him, the nuclear energy sector represents the basis of the Slovak energy sector, and it has a crucial influence on economic development.

In its May announcement, the Regional Interest Group Mochovce supported the project unequivocally. Its chairman and mayor of the town of Levice, Štefan Mišák, opined that the power plant is the crucial driving force of labour and the bearer of accompanying investments in surrounding towns and villages. Milan Belica, head of the Nitra self-governing region, considers the power plant to be the most stable employer and the heart of electrical power of Slovakia.

More investment in safety

The originally planned investment of €3 billion will be increased by about €800 million. The main reasons for this include additional measures to boost the safety of the nuclear blocks in the event of combined external events for which the plant was tested in stress tests conducted following the disaster in the Fukushima plant in Japan. The plant’s performance shall also be increased to 1,000 Mega-Watts. “We want to build the third and fourth blocks as one of the safest plants of its kind in the world,” SE representatives stressed. This, they said, has significantly impacted the budget and the schedule of the plant’s construction. Experts emphasise that the plant’s safety is their top priority, which cannot be sacrificed for any financial or planning reasons whatsoever.

More advantages for Slovakia

The new blocks will become a stable and reliable source of power as a commodity. According to an expert, Slovakia will receive important international advantages in the energy sector. The country will strengthen its energy safety, become an exporter of power and produce more than 90 percent of its power without carbon dioxide emissions. Mochovce alone will cover 27 percent of domestic consumption, and it will have the potential to push for a decrease in prices. Due to the planned closure of production of German nuclear power plants, it can also influence the pricing of electric power on the European market.

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