PRIME Minister Robert Fico is not happy with the operation of the Italian energy company Enel in Slovakia. He is especially dissatisfied with how Enel, holding 66 percent in Slovakia’s main energy producer Slovenské Elektrárne (SE), has proceeded in building the third and fourth units of the nuclear power station in Mochovce.
“I will not listen any longer to what the Italian owners of Slovenské Elektrárne are telling us, because we have a very negative experience with them from the completion of the third and fourth units of the Mochovce nuclear power plant,” said Fico, as cited by the SITA newswire after a cabinet session on October 9 held in Handlová, a city with a long tradition in coal mining. He responded to a question whether his cabinet will help SE during the modernisation of the thermal power station in Nováky, since the plant fires coal extracted by Slovak miners and thus creates jobs for miners.
“We recognise the importance of this power plant [Nováky] as far as the operation of mines in the region is concerned,” said Fico. “I’d rather take the path of aiding the mining company HBP to build a so-called fluidised-bed boiler. At this point, however, I will not answer whether we are prepared or not to help the Italian company Enel. I can only declare major dissatisfaction with their attitude to the completion of the third and fourth units at Mochovce, and from that evolves our attitude toward the Italian company.”
For the time being the Italian investor is awaiting a meeting with the government, which holds the remaining 34 percent in SE. The government has been blocking the release of additional funding for the completion of Mochovce. Costs of the project, initially planned at €2.8, billion have ballooned to about €3.8 billion. The shareholders have gradually agreed on amendments to contracts worth a total of about €500 million, but it is necessary to agree on an additional €500 million.
The completion of the third and fourth units of Mochovce was postponed from the end of 2012 and autumn 2013, respectively, to the end of 2014 and 2015. The two blocks should have an installed capacity of 1,000 MW.
14. Oct 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff