News that Prague-listed utility ČEZ will sell one or two coal-burning power plants with a capacity of 800–1,000 MW in a bid to end a European Commission probe into suspected anti-competitive behavior (and in line with plans to divest from carbon-emitting power generation capacity) has been welcomed by the markets. State-controlled ČEZ — which denies any wrongdoing — had faced a fine of up to 10 percent of its 2008 global turnover of $5.2 billion.
The Czech Ministry of Finance is seeking Kč 6.8 billion in damages from six former managers of the mining company Mostecké uhelné společnost (MUS) whom anticorruption police have charged with stripping assets from and using the money to take over the company. The ministry also wants to have the controversial privatization of MUS, since renamed Czech Coal, annulled, the daily Lidové noviny reported Friday.
Czech billionaire Pavel Tykač, the owner of leading lignite miner Czech Coal, said in an interview for the daily Mladá fronta Dnes published Thursday — his first in 15 years — that no other party, including rival Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH), will outbid him for state-c0ntrolled utility ČEZ’s coal-fired Počerady and Chvaletice plants.
Czech energy group Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) is considering using coal from its Mibrag mine in Germany keep its Elektrárny Opatovice power station running following the withdrawal of mining company Czech Coal from a supply contract, the daily E15 reported on Monday.
Chief Prague Prosecutor Vlastimil Rampula will again be removed from office following a ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) on Tuesday in favor of a cassation complaint by Czech Minister of Justice Jiří Pospíšil, who charged the top prosecutor had held up key corruption investigations and mishandled a major privatization case, costing the state tens of billions in damages.
Energy group Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) has called the withdrawal of mining company Czech Coal from a contract to supply the former’s Elektrárny Opatovice power station with lignite “unjustified,” rejecting claims that it failed to make payments for supplies.
Czech state-controlled power utility ČEZ is preparing to sell off two of its coal-fired power stations, neither of which has been modernized and the operation of which would require an investment into reducing emissions to meet the emission limits applicable from 2016.
Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Martin Kuba has sought to reset the great Czech coal debate over whether existing mining limits should be ditched or not in the face of depleting reserves. Kuba says stress should be more on more efficient power plants so that reserves within existing reserves can last longer.
ČEZ has says it has established a stand-alone company into which its 1,000 MW coal-fired Počerady plant can be slotted as negotiations heat up over its future. Počerady could be a pawn into a new coal supply deal with Czech Coal or could be sold to energy group EPH.
With a couple of exceptions, the richest Czechs have all relocated their firms to countries with lower corporate taxes, the Netherlands and Cyprus being the favorite destinations. Minister of Industryand Trade Martin Kuba (Civic Democrats, ODS) says it’s “unfair” that that these entrepreneurs tell the government how to improve conditions for business in the Czech Republic.