Croatia Nuclear Plant ‘Would Increase Debt’

Thursday, May 22, 2008

22 May 2008 Zagreb - Croatia’s plans to construct a €2 billion thousand-megawatt nuclear plant will only increase the country’s foreign debt, a daily warns.

Croatia is a debt-ridden country and taking out new loans for a nuclear power plant could bring more trouble, warns Zagreb daily Vecernji list.

Croatia might be obliged to take out a loan, with a five year moratorium, and repay it over the next twenty years.

However, that would require the establishment of a new company, 51 per cent of which would be owned by the Croatian state, or the country’s Electricity Board, HEP, while the rest could be owned by key global corporations or partners whose support would be needed to help fund the building and maintenance of the nuclear power plant.

The Croatian Nuclear Association has been lobbying for the construction of a nuclear power plant by 2020 arguing the shortage of energy, high price of energy resources and precarious supply are reasons enough for why Zagreb should push on with the plant.

They say nuclear power plants will soon also be built in small countries that must find a solution to their energy problems.

Nikola Cavlina, professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, told the Zagreb daily that the locations for a potential nuclear power plant in Croatia have been known for some time, Prevlaka near Sisak and Dalj in the Slavonia region.

Croatia currently has no nuclear plants on its territory but does co-own the Krsko plant in neighbour Slovenia, an agreement between the two republics which survived the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.

Croatia receives about 40 percent of its electricity needs from Krsko although the plant is due to be decommissioned in 2023.

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