Slovakia drafts bills to implement EU energy liberalisation directives.

By bne IntelliNews August 18, 2011
Slovakias economy ministry has drafted bills to implement the third package of EU directives for liberalisation of the energy sector into the national legislation by the end of 2011, informed. The bills envisage that consumers could switch electricity and natural gas suppliers within three weeks and free of charge. Moreover, consumers can withdraw from a supply contract within a week after signing the contract. The ministry hopes that this will protect disadvantaged consumers against aggressive business practices. If the rates or other contract terms are changed, the client could terminate the contract. Under the EU legislation, networks should be independent from production and distribution. The draft bills prepared by the economy ministry suggest that the separation of production and transmission of electricity will be implemented through a model of full ownership unbundling. At the natural gas market the separation of network from supply and production will be carried out using three models, namely full ownership unbundling, establishment of an independent system operator and establishment of an independent transmission network. Eustream, the operator of Slovakias natural gas distribution network, is part of gas utility SPP Group, which is majority owned by the state, while management rights are exercised by minority shareholders Ruhrgas and Gaz de France, which together control 49% in the company. Negotiations on purchasing the distribution network are currently under way.

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