The Slovenia Times

Magna obtains environmental approval for Hoče operation


The environmental approval is not yet final, because NGOs involved in the procedure may still appeal against the decision, issued by the Environment Agency (ARSO).

ARSO had examined the impact of the planned operation in Hoče on people, soil, water, air, noise, biodiversity, nature, property and cultural heritage.

ARSO also said that the selection of the site was not subject of the procedure.

Magna Steyr sees this as an important milestone in the Magna Nucleus project, the company said.

Slovenia thus remains Magna's first choice for the plant. The company expressed hope that all further procedures would be conducted within the deadlines.

In the approval, the agency prescribed project and environmental requirements for the duration of construction and operation to protect the ground and water and prevent excessive noise pollution.

ARSO found that the documents put forward by Magna guaranteed that the construction would be environmentally acceptable and that threshold levels would not be exceeded.

The agency holds that the painting methods to be applied by Magna would comply with the requirements for the best possible technologies with lower emissions of volatile organic compounds.

ARSO also obtained opinions from the Health Ministry and the National Public Health Institute which confirm that the project was acceptable in terms of the effects on people's health under the conditions considered.

Among several other opinions, ARSO also acquired a positive opinion from the Slovenian Water Agency, which has already issued its consent to the investor.

ARSO said that all the terms and requirements in prevention of pollution the investor needs to meet would be listed in an environmental permit, a document that Magna is yet to ask for.

The NGOs have 15 days to appeal, but the period will not start running until all parties in the procedure have been handed the decision.

Since the number of environmental organisations which have expressed interest in the procedure is considerable, complaints are expected, and it is impossible to say when ARSO's decision will become final.

Magna has said it is willing to wait until the end of September for a building permit, or else it will abandon the plan to build a paint shop in Hoče and move the project to Hungary.

During a public debate on the project in July, the head of Magna's planned investment in Slovenia David Adam was confident that the company had responded to all potential misgivings.

"I hope we've addressed the concerns expressed by the NGOs," said Adam at the time, pointing to a study showing the plant would have no impact on the health of the local population.

In the meantime, the Hoče - Slivnica municipality and the Economy Ministry have reached agreement with the land owners and lessees to buy the plots from them and supply substitute plots for those whose lives depend on farming.

Hoče Mayor Marko Soršak hailed ARSO's decision, which he said had been expected. As a representative of a third-party participant, Mayor of Miklavž na Dravskem Polju Leo Kremžar said they no longer had any reservations.

The government has pledged to provide Magna with a EUR 18.61m subsidy to build a EUR 146.4m paint shop in Hoče which is to create 400 new jobs.


More from Nekategorizirano