Ljubljana, 18 March (STA) - The government has told the state-owned power utility HSE to try to negotiate discounts for equipment being bought for a new generator at the Sostanj coal-fired plant (TES) due to $altered global market conditions$.
HSE must inform the government of the outcome of negotiations and provide quarterly reports about progress of the investment, Economy Minister Matej Lahovnik told the press after Thursday's cabinet session.
"The government is not making any decisions about this investment, which is ongoing," Lahovnik pointed out.
The new generator in Sostanj, Slovenia's biggest energy project at the moment, has come under fire from environmentalists, and it has been criticised due to perceived cost overruns.
Uros Rotnik, the boss of the Sostanj plant, has recently said the investment is worth a whisker over one billion euros, but he said the final price may reach EUR 1.2bn.
The technological equipment for what will be the sixth generator in Sostanj will be supplied by France's engineering giant Alstom, at a cost of just under EUR 700m, Rotnik said.
The new generator will not significantly raise the total output of TES, as one generator has already been shut down and three more will follow until 2016.