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Fico: Household gas prices will not increase in 2014

SLOVAKIA’S main gas utility will not ask the state to raise household gas prices next year, Prime Minister Robert Fico told the press on September 30. The regulatory authority will decide over the proposal within a month.

SLOVAKIA’S main gas utility will not ask the state to raise household gas prices next year, Prime Minister Robert Fico told the press on September 30. The regulatory authority will decide over the proposal within a month.

“For next year Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel proposes the same price as this year,” Fico said, as quoted by the SITA newswire, adding that this concerns all types of households.

Fico also confirmed that if SPP wanted to rid itself of the loss-making household gas segment, it would have to ask the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) to hike prices by 26-30 percent. The state will the debt, currently standing at €76 million, in the following six or seven weeks, thanks to corrections made to agreements on deliveries of natural gas with Russian Gazprom, on storing natural gas and restructuring SPP after the state acquires the entire 100-percent share of the firm. Fico did not want to comment on whether he also plans to dismiss employees, as reported by SITA.

Moreover, as SPP is a dominant player on the market, all other gas distributors will follow this step, Fico said, as reported by the TASR newswire.

Even if the state was not buying SPP, it was not very likely that prices would increase, Miroslav Lupták, spokesperson for ÚRSO, told the Sme daily, explaining that because of the good the situation on the international market, it is possible that prices will remain stable.

“PM Fico announced today that next year SPP will have the most expensive gas in Slovakia, also thanks to selling part of SPP to financial groups,” responded leader of New Majority-Agreement (NOVA) Daniel Lipšic, as quoted by TASR, adding that all 15 alternative gas suppliers have cheaper gas than the state utility.

Moreover, several countries, including those from central Europe, have already agreed with Gazprom on cheaper prices of deliveries, Lipšic added.

The last change to the price of gas came at the beginning of the year, when the maximum prices increased by 0.46 percent on average. ÚRSO explained that the increase was due to the unfavourable exchange rate of the US dollar towards euro. Previously, the regulator had argued that ÚRSO’s regulatory policy caused them to lose money in the household gas segment, according to SITA.

Source: SITA, TASR, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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