Slovakia’s dominant utility enterprise, Slovenske Elektrarne (SE) has submitted a counterproposal to the Slovakian government’s plans to introduce a nuclear tax on “excess profit” on nuclear power output
Slovakia’s dominant utility enterprise, Slovenske Elektrarne (SE) has submitted a counterproposal to the Slovakian government’s plans to introduce a tax on “excess profit” on nuclear power output. The Economy Ministry confirmed that the tax is due to be discussed in Parliament this week.
The tax was proposed by the government to ease the impact of surging energy bills. Lawmakers approved the plans last week, which were prepared without the standard round of consultations. The Economy Ministry has expressed that it wants the extraordinary tax to be implemented as early as next month.
Italian energy giant Enel and Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky’s EPH own majority stakes in Slovenske Elektrarne. Together, they operate the country’s nuclear power stations and have warned that the tax would lead to losses, possibly even bankruptcy.
The government has refuted these concerns. The bill has been tabled in Parliament where the ruling coalition holds a majority. The voting results are expected within this week. The Slovakian government aims to raise around a net €50 million for the country’s economy. The proposed tax will enable the government to raise around €300 million annually in the years to come. Slovenske Elektrarne presented higher estimates.
Early this week, the Economy Ministry confirmed that it had received a counterproposal from Slovenske Elektrarne investors. A representative from Slovenske Elektrarne stated that this counterproposal “should help ensure affordable energy for households”, but it did not provide any other details.
Early this week, Slovenske Elektrarne stated that it was in the process of negotiating with representatives from the Slovakian government. An official stated: “The company is looking for a solution how to help vulnerable groups of electricity consumers in Slovakia at an extremely complicated time on energy markets in Europe, without instantly threatening the future of the largest electricity producer in the country.”
In a statement last week, Slovenske Elektrarne said the proposed tax would result in deep losses for the company. In turn this could lead to banks’ rejecting proposals to put off debt payments, possibly inviting bankruptcy. Additionally, Slovenske Elektrarne warned that the launch of two new units at the Mochovce nuclear plant (a €6 billion investment that has already faced years of delay and cost overruns) would be jeopardised by the proposed tax.
Enel and Daniel Kretinsky’s EPH jointly hold 66% of SE, while the state holds the rest. The government proposal comes as inflation has soared to a more than 17-year high, with energy prices rising 13% last month.
More about the European Energy Crisis here