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GZS suggests Slovenia phase out coal in 2036-2038

Ljubljana, 29 March (STA) - The strategic council for energy transition, a body established in 2019 by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), believes the Šoštanj thermal power plant should close between 2036 and 2038, which is the middle of the three scenarios in the national strategy for phasing out coal.

Following a meeting on Monday, the council appealed to decision makers to adopt measures to allow a green and fair energy transition that would still provide for an adequate level of self-sufficiency.

GZS president Boštjan Gorjup praised Slovenia's success in providing stable energy supply to industry and households as he gave a statement for the press after the meeting.

He said the GZS saw the period between 2036 and 2038 as suitable for the closure of TEŠ as well as the nearby Velenje coal mine.

The Infrastructure Ministry has proposed the earliest possible date for closure, 2033 when it launched a public consultation on the strategy.

Before the phase-out, decision makers will have to take a number of other actions, including extending the lifetime of the Krško nuclear power station, until 2043, and draft by 2025 the documents needed to build a second reactor, said Gorjup.

He also warned that high dependency on energy imports could be detrimental in a crisis, which is ahy imports should be kept under 15-20%.

Infrastructure Ministry State Secretary Blaž Košorok said that the strategy was merely one of the first steps toward the energy transition.

Among other things, it tasks the two coal-mine regions to draw EU funds allocated for fair energy transition, with Slovenia eligible for EUR 235 million in grants between 2021 and 2027 under the condition that it sets a phase-out deadline, said Košorok.

The strategy envisages three possible coal phase-out deadlines, 2033, 2038 and 2042.

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