September: The year in business

Reverse gas flow from Slovakia to Ukraine launched. High Representative of the European Union Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, together with Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk, ceremonially opened the valve of the Vojany-Uzhgorod pipeline on September 2. The capacity of the so-called small reverse version of transit that uses the existing, unused Vojany pipeline near Veľké Kapušany on the Slovak side is 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year.

The valve of the Vojany-Uzhgorod pipeline opened.The valve of the Vojany-Uzhgorod pipeline opened. (Source: sME)

Reverse gas flow from Slovakia to Ukraine launched. High Representative of the European Union Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, together with Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk, ceremonially opened the valve of the Vojany-Uzhgorod pipeline on September 2. The capacity of the so-called small reverse version of transit that uses the existing, unused Vojany pipeline near Veľké Kapušany on the Slovak side is 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year.

Slovakia up in competitiveness. Slovakia slightly improved its competitiveness ranking, up three places from last year to 75th in the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015, published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on September 3.

Gas flow to Slovakia slowed. The national gas utility Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP) reported a reduction of the flow of Russian natural gas to Slovakia for the first time in mid-September. While gas flows remained to be reduced later during the year, this did not have any impacts on supplies to any clients, from households to large industrial companies, as the country is better prepared for any potential shutdown of gas supplies from Russia via Ukraine than it was during the gas crisis of 2009. The reduction was interpreted also as a response of the Russian side to the launch of the reverse gas flow from Slovakia to Ukraine.

VAT lottery changed. After the reported decrease of participants in the National Receipt Lottery (NBL) launched back in September 2013, the state-run lottery company Tipos changed the scheme and increased the total number of winners.

Firms slashed high electricity bills. Companies in Slovakia criticised the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) for increasing the charge for operating the national grid, which makes up part of the end electricity price, by more than 10 percent as of August 20. Under the new rules, the charge for operation of the national grid stands at €21.82 per Megawatt hour. At the beginning of the year it was €19.82 per MWh.

The state uses the revenue to support the production of electricity from renewable energy resources, combined production of electricity and heat, and the production of brown coal.

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