Gas utility Slovensky Plynarensky Priemysel (SPP) has had yet another attempt to hike up gas prices foiled. The General Meeting of the company voted against the proposal this week, which would otherwise have seen prices rise from January by an average of 13.4%.
The proposal was turned down by representatives of the state, which owns 51% in the company. This is made possible by a law introduced by the former government requiring firstly the consent of the General Meeting before a price proposal can be endorsed by the regulatory authority.
The two foreign shareholders in the 49% consortium Slovak Gas Holding, E.ON Ruhrgas and GDF SUEZ, are very disturbed, as they have tried on several occasions already this year to push through a price hike due to rising oil prices and a stronger US dollar.
SPP board chairman Achim Saul explained that “No company can afford to sell goods for a longer time at below cost”. This year the company projects a loss of EUR 80 million in the regulated segments of households and heating for households. The company cannot recover this loss in anyway because of the regulation method, which no longer allows for compensatory measures in the following year.
SPP is also playing with the idea of suing the Slovak Republic over the losses it claims to have generated over the past few years.