Slovak power plant sues state over historic loss
Electricity producer Slovenské elektrárne recorded the second-highest loss for a Slovak company in a decade and is suing the state for making it sell at a loss to customers.
Slovakia’s biggest electricity producer, Slovenské elektrárne, ended their 2022 yearly accounts with €217 million in the red. Only one Slovak company has had a worse financial year in the last ten years, US Steel, in 2013 with a €370 million loss. It is also the power plant’s first loss in a decade, Denník N reported.
The company claims one of the reasons for this loss is last year’s memorandum, which forced companies to sell electricity to households at a discount. Slovenské elektrárne is now suing the state as a response.
“The company brought an administrative action against the above-mentioned decisions of the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic, particularly on the ground of disproportionality of the obligation imposed in the general economic interest,” wrote the company in its 2022 financial statement.
Slovakia has a 34% stake in the power plant. The electrical company also states that high market prices worked against its business, as it did not produce enough and had to buy on the market.
Among the company’s problems were unplanned shutdowns at their coal and nuclear power plants and delays in a new nuclear power unit. Europe’s historic drought also played a part, as its water plants produced less than planned.
The 2022 memorandum means that households will also have cheap electricity in the following year. The price was set at €61 per megawatt-hour, which the government said would save families 80% on their bills.
The European Commission greenlighted the memorandum in November last year. Recently, however, it urged member states to start phasing out energy support mechanisms as a cost-saving measure.
The power plant’s spokesperson said that the company should be back in the green later this year.
(Barbara Zmušková | EURACTIV.sk)