Power Plant Dispute Continues in Croatia, Slovenia
ZAGREB, Croatia, March 19, 2003 - Croatia will ask its neighbor, Slovenia, to pay $56 million in retribution for eight months worth of energy withheld from the shared Krsko nuclear plant.
Krsko was constructed by both countries in the 1980s while part of Yugoslavia.
Croatian power authorities at HEP are requesting the $56 million in compensation for undistributed electricity from June 20, 2002, to March 1, 2003. Plans call for additions requests of $5-6 million per month from as long as electricity is withheld.
The Slovenian-Croatian power dispute began in 1998 when Eles, the Slovenian power monopoly, halted power distribution from the shared Krsko plant to HEP, a Croatian power board. In another move designed to cut Croatia off from receiving electricity, Slovenia nationalized Krsko in July 1998.
An agreement reached last year reaffirmed joint management of the plant and became law on June 30, 2002, when Croatian parliament okayed the plan. Slovenian parliament only approved the measure this month. In addition, the agreement lays out plans for the two countries to share decommissioning costs and responsibility for nuclear waste disposal.
It is not clear when or if electricity distribution to Croatia will resume. Croatia has warned it may begin arbitration procedures if it is not permitted to rejoin the management of Krsko within 60 days.
Slovenia would prefer that Croatia sells its stake in the plant, according to a Sunday report in Croatian daily Jutarnji Iist.
Sales discussions have taken place in the past, but the two countries could not agree on a price. Croatia demanded $717.5 million for its share in the plant while Slovenia refused to pay more than about $150 million.