Slovene radio: Buying Croatia's share in Krsko cheaper than imported electricity.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)

[Announcer] If Slovenia had bought Croatia's stake in the Krsko nuclear power plant in time, today we would not have problems with electricity. What's more, we could even export it and thereby make a nice profit. But instead, we might have to solve a future energy crisis, which actually only just began announcing itself, by building an additional nuclear power block in Krsko. Irena Majce reporting.

[Reporter] Slovenia missed its chance to buy Croatia's stake in Krsko between the years 1997 and 2001. Then, with the interstate agreement, it was saving its credibility in Europe more than the nuclear plant and the energy sector. Now, we will have to pay for this with costly imports of electricity, that's if we will get it, since the countries which drew a lesson from blackouts are increasingly protective of their systems.

[Passage omitted on situation in other countries]

[Environment Ministry] State Secretary for Energy Djordje Zebeljan admitted that Slovenia had not given up the possibility of a new nuclear block. It is still not a part of the plans, but -

[Zebeljan] By all means we will follow the positive European practice in the field of nuclear energy.

[Reporter] The state will no longer renounce the power location in Krsko easily. Martin Novsak from the nuclear power plant:

[Novsak] Well, this is the practice in the world, and there are opportunities to remain in Krsko because of the infrastructure, this means power lines, and because of the River Sava for cooling, the personnel structure and the industrial support.

[Reporter] Elsewhere in the world too, are erecting new nuclear plants only on old sites. It is not possible to get new ones. In Krsko, they will perhaps be able to prolong the life [of the plant] by 20 years. If an additional nuclear plant is needed, this will be shown by the state's energy assessment. They will have to take a decision by 2020 or even before.

Nowadays, new nuclear blocks cost between 4-5bn euros. If we bought the Croatian stake in the Krsko nuclear plant, this would be considerably cheaper. According to their high estimates from the times of negotiations on the agreement [on the Krsko nuclear plant], it would cost us five times less, whilst according to the Slovene ones, as much as ten times less.

Source: Radio Slovenia, Ljubljana, in Slovene 1430 gmt 18 Dec 03

[c] BBC Monitoring

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