Šoštanj, 22nd October 2021 – On Friday, 22 October 2021, the Minister of the Interior Aleš Hojs visited the Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant (TEŠ) and the Velenje Coal Mine (PV). Along with the management of both companies and members of the management of the company Holding Slovenske elektrarne (HSE), he inspected production at the thermal power plant and the coal mine. Both energy locations are among the facilities of national importance as they perform an activity that is of key significance for the uninterrupted and reliable supply of electricity to Slovenia. In addition to an uninterrupted and reliable electricity supply, safety and health at work are areas to which we pay great care and attention at the Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant and the Velenje Coal Mine, as confirmed by the Minister.
Minister Aleš Hojs first visited TEŠ, which has the most technologically advanced thermal power generation unit in this part of Europe with its Unit 6 and annually generates about a third of all Slovenian production and supplies over half of domestic electricity consumption in times of crisis. The Minister then visited the miners working 500 metres underground and saw how work is progressing in the Jama Pesje cave at the excavation at angle -110/B and preparatory site no. 1, where the future delivery line of the excavation at angle – 110/C is being prepared. He paid particular attention to the processes in the pit that are intended to ensure the safety of employees in the production process.
Today’s working visit was carried out in order to check the method of protection of major energy infrastructure locations in the country and the level of cooperation with state authorities, said the Minister of the Interior Aleš Hojs, adding: “I was interested in how security protocols work. The tour was interesting for me both from a technical point of view and from the point of view of all the innovations presented to me today, mainly related to the current problems in energy or the impending energy crisis and the extremely high electricity prices we have witnessed in recent weeks. Of course, each system can be upgraded and improved, issues which we will continue to solve together with the corporate security services of individual companies. Nevertheless, I am very satisfied with what I saw today in the Šaleška Valley.”
We presented to the Minister of the Interior the operation of the two mutually operationally connected energy locations in the Šaleška Valley, not only in technical terms. “Both TEŠ and PV have been paying a lot of attention to improving safety and reliability for many years. We still need to implement some ideas for further improvements, so we will be very satisfied if the Ministry of the Interior and the services within this ministry can be actively involved, so that the end result will be an even higher level of security control options to ensure security of supply in regard to electricity and heat and safety and health at work. Modern security processes are in place in both respects, and our desire is to give even greater importance to security in the broadest sense of the word. We believe that it makes sense to grant state critical infrastructure status to both energy locations in the Šaleška Valley,” said the General Manager of HSE and TEŠ, Viktor Vračar, PhD, after today’s visit.
We are aware of the potential dangers, so we strive to ensure the highest possible standards of safety and health at work, thus reducing the risk to the lowest possible level. “We have a Defence and Rescue Plan in which potential dangers have been identified,” said the General Manager of the Velenje Coal Mine, Janez Rošer, Ph D. “On the basis of this, measures are being taken to prevent their occurrence, and measures are being prepared throughout which will be implemented if potential hazards arise on either working or non-working days. We have established a Safety-Technological Information System (VTIS) through which on-duty workers monitor all safety and technological parameters in the cave 24 hours a day and, if necessary, provide employees with all the necessary information. In addition to all the above, we also have a well-trained cave rescue company which operates within the Mining Rescue Service and organises and carries out rescue in the event of accidents, undertakes all necessary activities in endangered areas and provides first aid to any injured persons in the cave.”
“Today’s visit was also intended to review the operation in the period of the so-called crux of the situation when it was crucial for TEŠ and PV to properly comply with all regulations and cooperate with the competent government bodies. Despite the difficult epidemiological situation, we managed to ensure uninterrupted operation and electricity supply. In the HSE Group, this area was taken care of by the Corporate Security Department, which coordinated activities with all companies within the group of Holding Slovenske elektrarne on a daily basis,” said Matic Naglič, Head of the Department.
TEŠ Public Relations Department and PV Public Relations Department