The Slovenia Times

Power utility GEN posts record profits


Ljubljana - The GEN energy group is estimated to have generated a record net profit of EUR 80 million last year, around 25% more than the year before, with turnover up 36% to EUR 3 billion. The group highlighted its reliability despite market difficulties and its vision for decarbonisation, which includes a second nuclear power plant unit.

The group exceeded its performance targets and ensured a reliable supply of electricity despite all the pandemic-related constraints, Martin Novšak, the director general of GEN Energija, the state-owned company running the Slovenian half of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant (NEK), said at a press conference in Ljubljana on Thursday.

Among other things, last year was marked by high market volatility, he added, forecasting that the difficult market conditions would continue this year as well.

He expects the prices of electricity to stabilise, as the current price levels are unsustainable, but he also reiterated that prices would not drop to the levels seen prior to recent significant increases.

According to the data on the group's website, GEN Energija posted an estimated net profit of EUR 26 million in 2021, after a net profit of EUR 45.7 million in 2020. Revenues were at EUR 230 million last year, compared with EUR 231.4 million the year before.

At today's press conference, the GEN group also presented Vision 3+1, which it deems to be the key to decarbonising Slovenia's energy sector, envisaging nuclear, hydro and solar energy as primary sources (3) and gas as a backup source (+1).

The power utility believes that the construction of the second NEK unit is necessary to ensure a stable supply of electricity, especially after the planned phase-out of coal. Nuclear power would provide nine terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity annually.

That could compensate for the loss of four TWh of electricity per year from the Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant (TEŠ), as current plans foresee the closure of TEŠ by 2033, and provide an additional source of power for heating, transport and digitalisation.

Meanwhile, GEN already generates 99% of its electricity in a carbon-free way, mostly from the Krško Nuclear Power Plant (NEK) and hydroelectric power plants, some also from solar power plants, they said.

"GEN's 3+1 vision is the pillar of Slovenia's power transition and our answer to achieving climate neutrality both at home and beyond our borders," said Gordana Radanovič, GEN Energija's financial director.

GEN Energija's business director Danijel Levičar added that after the energy permit for NEK's Unit 2 was obtained last year, a public debate would now follow, in which he expects a confrontation of different visions for a green transition in the energy sector.

The technical foundation for the project's siting has been prepared, which is expected to be followed by a search for potential co-investors, a selection of technology and obtaining a construction permit.

Levičar believes that a decision on the investment into the second unit of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant should be taken by 2027, and that the project should be implemented by 2033, when TEŠ is expected to shut down.


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