Slovakia energy plan includes three hydro projects

Slovakia’s Economy Ministry issued its Energy Security Strategy September 24, listing construction of more than 5,200 MW of generating capacity, including three hydropower projects in the near and long terms.

The ministry said it actually needs to build installed capacity of 6,600 MW, worth 464 billion crowns (US$19.19 billion), by 2030 to secure electricity self-sufficiency. Prime Minister Robert Fico is trying to boost electricity production after the ex-communist nation had to close part of its Soviet-designed nuclear power station in an agreement allowing it to join the European Union.

Priority energy projects include completion of the 880-MW third and fourth blocks of the Mochovce nuclear power station by utility Slovenske Elektrarne. The strategy also lists new gas-powered power plants as priorities by 2013.

However, the strategy also lists as a priority the 52-MW Sered hydroelectric project, to be built between 2008 and 2013 for an investment of 160 million euros (US$225 million). Sered previously has been proposed with three Kaplan turbine-generators on the Vah River near Bratislava.

The Economy Ministry said it is considering, in a long-term horizon, two other hydropower projects. The 600-MW Ipel pumped-storage project would be built by 2020 for an investment of 660 million euros (US$929.6 million). The 192-MW Wolfsthal project also would be built by 2020 for an investment of 580 million euros (US$817 million).

�It is hard to say today how this will be financed,� Economy Minister Lubomir Jahnatek told reporters after presenting the strategy report to the corporate sector. �I think it will be a combination of private and state funds.�

Slovakia faces an electricity shortage of 600 to 700 MW between 2009 and 2012 as its growing economy demands more power and generating capacity shrinks.

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