Hungary blocks Mochovce

Without the high-voltage transmission lines, there will be no solvent purchaser of the electricity produced in the third and fourth blocks.

The nuclear power station in MochovceThe nuclear power station in Mochovce (Source: Sme)

Slovakia may face difficulties when trying to earn on the two new nuclear blocks of the Mochovce power plant, as Hungary is blocking the construction of the cross-border line to enable the export of electricity to the Balkans.

Without the high-voltage transmission lines, there will be no solvent purchaser of the electricity produced in the third and fourth blocks. The reason being that most European markets have a surplus of electricity, but the Balkans could prove to be a good customer for Slovakia, the Pravda daily reported on November 7.

The high-voltage cross-border line from Mochovce to Hungary has been lacking for about 10 years. It is not clear why Hungary refuses to build it, as it too would benefit from the transmission of electricity, Pravda wrote.

Daniel Křetínský, whose Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) bought a 33-percent stake in Enel in 2016 and is likely to obtain a larger share, has started lobbying for the line to be built.

“Regarding the situation in south-eastern Europe, I believe that the situation will result in the line to Hungary being completed,” Křetínský said at the energy conference held in Bratislava, as quoted by Pravda.

Another possibility for Slovakia is to sell electricity to the western market which may soon see its resources being exhausted, he added.

In the meantime, also the European Commission has gotten involved in the case as it seeks to secure electricity supplies in Europe. There is a rumour that if the Hungarian state company does not begin building the line, the EC will turn to a private firm to complete it, according to Pravda.

The daily meanwhile reported on November 22 that the state secretaries of the Slovak and Hungarian Economy Ministries met to discuss the end of the blockade.

In addition to the problems with the missing line, the final price of completion of the two Mochovce nuclear blocks may increase by an additional €500 million to €5.1 billion, as well as another postponement of the construction deadline to 2017-2018, Pravda wrote.

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