EPIC: Slovakia faces tough task selling nuclear
SLOVAKIA has little chance of selling its
two nuclear power plants as part of its privatisation of
electricity utility Slovenské Elektrárne (SE), a
representative from a leading consultancy for
privatisation and investments in central and eastern
Europe said February 17.
"The current chances [of selling the nuclear power
plants] are almost zero," Peter Goldscheider from
the European Privatisation Investment Corporation (EPIC)
told the TASR news agency.
Goldscheider said that it is unlikely anyone will want to
buy SE if the nuclear plants are included in the package,
unless the utility is sold to a company already using
nuclear power, such as Electricite de France (EdF) or
At the same time, however, Goldscheider said that
privatising SE without the nuclear facilities is not a
good option, as it could lead to debt problems.
He said that instead the company should be divided into
subsidiaries, each of which would then be subject to a
thorough internal audit.
"All forms of internal funding and other factors
should be considered and only then should the sale go
ahead," Goldscheider said.
He believes that in choosing a buyer, the government
should first negotiate with the three respected European
energy companies already present in Slovakia: EdF and
German companies E.ON and RWE, which own 49 per cent
stakes in the electricity distributors for western,
central, and eastern Slovakia respectively.
Two of the four reactors at Jaslovské Bohunice, in the
west, are due to be retired between 2006 and 2008 under
an agreement with the European Union, while a decision
has yet to be taken on the completion of reactors three
and four at Mochovce in the southwest. There is also
uncertainty over the future of the former A-1 nuclear
plant near Bohunice.
There are currently seven bidders for SE: E.ON, EdF,
British Energy, International Power (Britain), Italy's
Enel, the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD), and the International Finance
Corporation of the World Bank.