On Thursday, 19 January 2023, representatives of the EU commission visited the Šalek Valley regarding the drawing of funds from the Just Transition Fund for the restructuring of the Savinja-Šalek coal region.
In addition to the mayors of the Urban Municipality of Velenje and the municipalities of Šoštanj and Šmartno ob Paki, as well as representatives of companies, the conference part upon the confirmation of the programme for the implementation of the European cohesion policy in the 2021-2027 period in Slovenia was also attended by the State Secretary at the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy Marko Koprivc and the Director of the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy Sofia Alves, who addressed the participants in addition to the Mayor of the Urban Municipality of Velenje Peter Dermol and the Director of the Savinja-Šalek Chamber of Commerce Rok Plankelj.
The opening addresses were followed by a presentation of the Savinja-Šalek coal region and of the drafting of strategic documents and development programmes for the region related to the just transition by the Director of the Savinja-Šalek Development Agency Biljana Škarja and Mojca Šteblaj of the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy.
The vision and projects of the Velenje Coal Mine (PV) and the Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant (TEŠ) as part of the just transition were presented by PV Director Janez Rošer and TEŠ Director General Viktor Vračar, the transformation of the district heating system for the Šalek Valley by the Director of the Velenje Public Utility Company Gašper Škarja, while the main projects of regional importance under the auspices of the Urban Municipality of Velenje (industrial and technology incubator – TecHub i4.0 project) and the Future Centre) were presented by the Director of the Administration of the Urban Municipality of Velenje Iztok Mori and the head of the Economic Development and Restructuring Office at the Urban Municipality of Velenje Karla Sitar.
After the official part, the participants visited the Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant, the degraded area of the Velenje Coal Mine, the Stara Vas business park and the Old Power Plant.