Oil report

Slovakia may use nuclear plant if gas stays off

BRATISLAVA, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Slovakia may restart a nuclear power plant unit it has shut down to comply with the European Union accession agreement if Russian gas supplies remain halted for a longer time, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Wednesday.

Bratislava declared the state of emergency with gas supplies on Tuesday after deliveries of Russian gas stopped completely due to a row between Moscow and Ukraine.

Slovakia had to close a 440 MW unit at its older nuclear power plant Jaslovske Bohunice at the end of 2008 as part of the EU accession deal. “If Slovakia remains hostage to a dispute between Russia and Ukraine in the following days, and if non-standard measures have to be taken, then I can imagine restarting Jaslovske Bohunice as a non-standard measure,” Fico told reporters.

The EU accession agreement had forced Slovakia to close another unit at the Soviet-designed Bohunice in 2006.

Slovak gas firm Slovensky Plynarensky Priemysel, run by GDF Suez GSZ.PA and E.ON EONGn.DE, has reduced gas deliveries to large customers with annual consumption exceeding 60,000 cubic metres to a "safe minimum".

The economy ministry said on Wednesday gas-powered capacities, which are needed to maintain stability of the power grid, were also among the sectors affected by gas supply restrictions. (Reporting by Peter Laca)