Minister Miškov conditions the sale of heating plants by a feasibility study
Week in Slovakia
Case: Privatization of six heating companies in Slovakia
On Wednesday (January 19th) the government was dealing with the question of selling six heating companies. Currently the National Property Fund (NPF) is the 100 % owner of the companies. It is also the NPF that has proposed to sell all of its shares by an international tender. According to the chief of economy resort Juraj Miškov, the final decision in this matter will be taken after the NPF finalizes its feasibility study.
„If the analysis shows that it is more profitable for the state to privatize these companies, it should be our duty to act in the interests of our state and accede to the privatization,” added Mininister Miškov.
According to Miškov it is too early to think about the way of how the privatization should be carried out. If the study comes to the conclusion that selling the heating companies is a favorable step for the state, there are various alternatives how it an be done. „It is hard for me to say something about any of the scenarios. The alternatives are a direct sale, transferring a share on the municipality or a long-term management as is also the case of hydro-energy companies,” concluded Miškov.
The NPF tabled a proposal at the parliamentary session in which it proposes to sell the six heating plants in a selection procedure that should have international attendance. The decisive criteria should be the price. „In case when we want to sell 100 % of the share, for the state it would bring a maximum revenue, possibility to chose the strategic investor that will have the optimal conditions for managing the companies and full responsibility for their further development,” states the document.
The National Property Fund is a 100 % owner and executor of shareholder´s right in heating companies in Bratislava, Trnava, Martin, Zvolen, Žilina and Košice.
Tuesday – 18th January 2011
The Regulatory Office should comprise also of the Regulatory Commission and regulatory Council starting of on 1st April 2011. Creating the two new organs is part of the law amendment presented by the deputy Ľudovít Jurčík (SaS). The Commission will be primarily responsible for the performance of the Office and will have three members. The Regulatory Council will serve as a decision making organ and should decide about appeals and also carry out public control of the Commission. Consumer protection should be strengthened by creating the function of an Ombudsman for energy.
Heat prices in Košice will increase. The company Tepláreň Košice will increase the prices for heat by 4,9 % in 2011 for all its customers. The reason behind this change is the level of regulated prices for gas set for heat producers. However within the whole Slovak average it is one of the most favorable.
Wednesday – 19th January 2011
The law amendment on regulation of network industries is aimed at „liquidate” the current composition of the Council for regulation and threatens independence of the state regulator. The statement came from Jozef Holjenčík as a reaction to the proposal of Ladislav Jurčík (SaS). According to the Ministry of Economy and Construction SR the proposed amendment will not have any influence on the current composition of the Council for Regulation.
Thursday – 20th January 2011
Privatization of six heating companies will depend on results of a study focusing on their economical feasibility. The information was provided by Minister of Economy and Construction SR Juraj Miškov. The Fund of National Property (FNM) has suggested that 100 % of all the heating companies should by sold in a selective procedure attended by international companies. The main criteria should be the price.
Friday – 21st January 2011
State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy SR Martin Chren and his resort partner Pál Kovács signed the final text of the international agreement on the gas pipeline between Slovakia and Hungary. The document should be also signed by prime ministers of both countries, Iveta Radičová and Viktor Orbán.
European Union and World
Monday – 17th January 2011
French company Alstom will build the biggest power plant in Estonia with a total installed capacity of 300 MW. The agreement with the domestic company Eesti Energia worth of 950 mil. Euro is the biggest investment since the break up of the Soviet Union. The new energy source should be put into operation in 2015.
Energy industry should apart from looking for new sources and technologies also focus on people that are capable within the leadership from small and medium companies. The statement came from the Crown Princess of Sweden Victoria during the world congress entitled World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2011 in Abu Dhabi. She also added that Sweden within the EU uses the biggest share of renewable energy sources.
The world energy mix should comprise of a well balanced mix of clean fossil fuels, nuclear energy and REW. The opinion was brought up by Sultan Aj Jaber from the Masdar company during his speech at WFES. UN State Secretary Ban Ki-Moon highlighted that at the conference in Cancún world leaders have agreed to create a system with the aim of protecting the most vulnerable countries. At the same time it will also focus on distribution of clean energy technologies. Furthermore as he said, in order to increase energy efficiency by 40 % and make sure that energy is accessible by everybody until 2030, the world need to invest wisely. The road that the world should follow is the one of low-carbon technologies and green energies.
If the nuclear power plant in Ian is put into operation, it could result in a catastrophe due to the harmful computer virus Stuxnet. The information was published by Russian media that get hold of a secret communication between Russian nuclear experts. They also argue that the Iranian leadership is „pushing” on a sooner opening date for the nuclear force (summer 2011). Russian experts are confident that due to the threat posed by the virus the opening date of the the power plant should be postponed. However, the Russian state agency Rosatom has denied these information.
Gazprom is considering to construct a LNG terminal in cooperation in Japan. In case the project will be realized, most of the production will head to the Japan market. According to Japan offices the capacity of the plant could reach 6 million tons of LNG per year.
International Energy Agency is concerned about the current oil prices that are coming closer to the level of 100 USD per barrel. However, the oil cartel Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has a different opinion and thus does not see a reason why it should intervene or summon an emergency meeting of its members.
BP and Russian state oil company Rosneft will start a common oil extraction near the Polar circle. Based on a signed contract Rosneft will gain 5 % of shares in BP and the British company will own 9,5 % of shares in the Russian monopoly.
Tuesday – 18th January 2011
Employees of small and medium companies in Czech Republic are wasting energy. The results of the recent inquiry have revealed that Czech workers leave their computers switched on also after their working hours. The average time of a computer switched on after working hours is as high as 120 hours per one month.
Germany want to speed up the cuts in the feed-in tariff for electricity generated from solar power plants. The prices should be modified six months sooner than it was originally planned. After the reduction on 1st July by 12 % another wave of cuts should come in January 2012.
Cooperation of the public and private sector will be an essential part of financing energy projects. These were the conclusions of one of the panel at the world congress WFES 2011 in Abu Dhabi. The role of the public-private partnerships (PPP) will predominantly be in the field of developing new and alternative energy sources, stressed Sultan Ahmed Aj Jaber, director of the company Masdar. The UN leader for climate issues Christina Figueres announced that PPP will be one of the main components of the mechanism in the field of technology cooperation if we are speaking about projects aimed at climate change. As the British Minister of Energy Gregory Barker stated, PPP projects will be one of the priorities of his government in the field of energy.
Australian government granted the British concern BP four licenses for developing research of deep-water oil sources on the coasts of the state of North Australia. The condition is that BP has to increase the security standards.
Belarus has signed a contact on oil transports with Ukraine. Based in the agreement, Minsk will be able to import oil also from other countries, not only Russia. The two-year contract is valid for a volume of 4 million tons of oil via the oil pipeline Odesa-Brody that crosses the territory of Ukraine.
Wednesday – 19th January 2011
The German company RWE is stepping down from two energy projects in Romania. The first one is a wind park, the second construction of new reactors in the nuclear power plant Cernavoda. According to unofficial information the reason should be big bureaucratic hurdles in the Balkan country.
Czech Republic is taking into consideration the possibility of lowering the subsidies in the insulation program „Green for savings”. The main reason behind the discussion is the aim to improve and speed up the process of allocating finances to those who apply. Until now the fund has given away 2/3 of the finances. The program was launched in 2009 and it is being financed from selling emission permits.
Storing electricity is currently not effective and also costly, it was said at the world congress WFES 2011 in Abu Dhabi. The efficiency of current appliances reaches less than 50 %, which means that more than half of the stored energy is lost. As it was further said, in order to maintain stability of distribution and transmission networks, together with development of RES with a deflection it will be also necessary to develop storage capacities with an installed capacity of thousands of MW.
Company Beacon Power has put into operation a flywheel complex with a total installed capacity of 20 MW in the state New England (USA). The information was given at the world congress WFES 2011 in Abu Dhabi. The complex serves as a short-term energy storage and its aim is to balance variations in the distribution system. The costs reached 76 mil. USD with a repayment of 10 years.
A gradual reduction of production costs of technologies will be vital for further development of the solar sector. World famous solar companies came to this conclusion at the world congress WFES 2011 in Abu Dhabi.
Thursday – 20th January 2011
In case if solar power plants are able to store at least one fifth of the generated energy, the price of electricity from these sources could be set by the market. This opinion was presented by representative of the company SAFT Batteries Michael Leppert at the world congress WFES 2011 in Abu Dhabi. Development of photovoltaic industry stands in front of three main challenges according to him: balance between supply and demand on the electricity market, management of transmission and distribution networks and their stability and energy efficiency.
An agreement signed between BP and Russian company Rosneft will not worsen relations with USA, assured Bob Dudley, executive director of BP. By doing so he indirectly reacted to the critics of an American congressman who said he was worried about possible threats to national security of USA after the contract was signed.
Brazilian oil reserves in the Atlantic might hold twice more oil than the government officials state. The findings were revealed in the results of an academic study carried out by the State university in Rio de Janeiro. However, extraction at these fields is costly and technologically demanding.
Friday – 21st January 2011
Patent strategies for energy technologies have to be initiated long before putting a product into operation. The opinion was proposed at the world congress WFES 2011 in Abu Dhabi. According to an expert for patent law Bertram Huber from Germany, it is twice valid for companies that focus on development and research of CleanTech and new renewable energy sources.
American oil company Occidental Petroleum will take part in developing a oil field in United Arab Emirates. Based on an agreement, the US company will receive 40 % of the shares and the rest will go to the home company ADNOC.
Israel is becoming the leading country in terms of ecological technologies. The financial support from the government has resulted in an increasing interest of private investors to pour money into this field.