Hudak: I Gravitate Towards Any Solution to Breathe Life into Vojany Plant

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Theta Energy Group executive director Igor Hantuch (L) and Economy Minister Vazil Hudak signing memorandum of understanding on February 25

Bratislava, March 9 (TASR) – I’m inclined towards any solution that will breathe life into and ensure the future for the Vojany thermal power plant (EVO), Economy Minister Vazil Hudak said after the Government session on Wednesday.

Hudak spoke in response to the intentions of US investor Theta Energy Group (TEG) to reconstruct and modernise EVO.

According to the minister, the power plant has been in decline for a long time. “Enel, the majority stakeholder at Slovenske Elektrarne (SE), saw no prospects for continuing electricity production at EVO. It planned to introduce personnel cuts and gradually decommission the power plant,” said Hudak.

The arrival of a new investor into the picture paves the way for a new future and potential transformation of EVO from a coal-powered plant to a mixed gas-biomass power plant.

“There’s yet another, more important, aspect to the investment: the investor perceives the project also through the lens of creating a certain industrial and technology park at the EVO premises, but also in other regions of eastern Slovakia. These parks should focus on new types of innovative energy products, such as batteries to store electricity or solar nanotechnologies,” said Hudak.

When asked whether the project inspires confidence in him, Hudak replied: “Yes, it does.” He pointed out, however, that the state needs to order a legal analysis first on how Vojany could be de facto separated from SE and a new joint enterprise founded between the state and investor. “We need an independent analysis first.”

On February 25, 2016, Hudak along with Finance Minister Peter Kazimir signed a memorandum of understanding with American investor Theta Energy Group.

TEG is planning to create 800 permanent jobs at the plant in the village of Vojany. The company plans to invest, modernise, develop and create local sources of permanent and safe energy supplies in the form of electricity and heating. “It’s an innovative company that is working with many suppliers. Their vision is to transform EVO into a power plant that will produce clean energy,” said Kazimir back then.

According to TEG chairman and founder Sean P. McCarthy, the company focuses on application of various innovations in electricity production. They use gas and biomass in order to decrease emissions.

EVO currently employs 142 people, in addition to those the investor wants to create the aforementioned 800 new jobs there.

EVO is run by SE, of which Enel (Italy) is a majority owner and the state has a 34-percent share.