(Ljubljana, 21 December 2023) – Today, Holding Slovenske elektrarne (HSE) returned to the owner another EUR 100 million of recapitalisation funds received by the decision of the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) in December 2022. In total, EUR 342 million has already been returned to the state from EUR 492 million of recapitalisation funds. HSE anticipates to return the remaining EUR 150 million in 2024.
The recapitalisation, with which the owner showed their trust in HSE at the end of 2022, proved to be a correct decision, as it enabled a prompt recovery of the liquidity problems which were the result of price fluctuations on European markets and operational downtimes in the HSE Group. Subsequently, management was able to focus on the optimisation of operations and improvement of business processes, while we constantly dedicate special attention to the management of risks linked with production and the sale of electricity.
We particularly focused on the launch of investments in renewable energy sources and sustainable development as per the vision of the HSE Group, which is to become a responsible spearhead of green transition and a pillar of reliable electricity supply with simultaneous provision of high-level energy self-sufficiency. Future investments of the HSE Group are aimed at the construction of solar and wind farms, hydroelectric power plants and hydrogen technologies. We have also recognised the potential of geothermal energy and biomass and the introduction of new technologies linked to flexibility, digitisation, the deployment of smart grids, energy storage reservoirs and virtual power plants. We develop new products and solutions that will also encourage our customers in the state’s green transition. Throughout 2023, our retail companies, Energija plus and ECE, supplied electricity at regulated prices to our customers, which were significantly lower than market prices. The costs of regulation for 264,000 household customers and 16,000 small commercial customers in the amount of almost EUR 100 million were covered by HSE. The costs of regulation for household customers are also expected to be covered by HSE in 2024 and they will not burden the budget of the Republic of Slovenia.
This year, we launched the project, North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley (NAHV), in which HSE is the lead partner. The NAHV project will last 72 months and it incorporates 17 pilot projects taking place at various locations. The NAHV will contribute significantly to the decarbonisation of the region and accelerate the transition to renewable resources in industry and energy and transport sectors. It is also important from the aspect of economic development and transport infrastructure in the Danube Region. One of the major turning point in 2023 was the successfully completed arbitration procedure against the Ugljevik Mine and Thermal Power Plant at the arbitration tribunal in Belgrade, Serbia. After almost ten years, the tribunal decided that the company, Elektrogospodarstvo Slovenije (EGS-RI), was entitled to the payment of EUR 67 million of compensation due to non-supplied electricity from the Ugljevik Thermal Power Plant in the Republic of Srpska between June 2011 and December 2021, including interest totalling more than EUR 58 million. Holding Slovenske elektrarne (HSE) successfully represented the EGS-RI company in the complex international legal procedure.