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Prime Minister Robert Golob in Velenje on overcoming the energy crisis and long-term measures to restructure the region

Prime Minister Robert Golob and Minister of Infrastructure Bojan Kumar today visited Gomilsko and Velenje, where they held talks with representatives of energy companies on ensuring energy independence in the long term and responding to the current energy crisis.

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Infrastructure first visited the company Kronoterm. The Prime Minister pointed out that this was a company that invested in development and new trends and would therefore be able to contribute to the green transition in Slovenia. "In Slovenia, we have sufficient knowledge not only to facilitate the green transition, but also to achieve independence from Russian gas," he stressed. The talks also focused on the possibility of setting up a pilot project to restructure the district heating system so that it is based on natural resources such as air, water and solar energy.

The working visit continued at the Velenje Coal Mine, where the Prime Minister and the Minister of Infrastructure were shown the coal mining process. They met with the managements of the Velenje Coal Mine, the Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant and the Slovenian Power Plants Holding (HSE), with whom they discussed the sufficient and timely readiness of system resources and supplies to respond to crisis situations. In this regard, the Prime Minister said that, due to the current situation in the energy markets, we are facing a difficult winter: "The situation at the coal depot is alarming, with only enough supplies for less than two weeks. That is why the Government ordered HSE to start activities to import coal immediately."

In addition, the Prime Minister noted that it is also important to discuss the future and the reduction or phase-out of the use of coal. For now, the strategy up to 2026, which needs to become operational, is crucial. He pointed out that projects needed to be well prepared so that investments are properly targeted at the restructuring of the Šaleška region. "Slovenia needs to temporarily increase coal extraction and imports in order to overcome the energy crisis, but on the other hand, we need to be ready for the restructuring of the region when the phasing out of coal actually begins," said Prime Minister Golob.

After his visit to the Velenje Coal Mine, the Prime Minister met with representatives of the food industry, who presented the situation in the industry due to the rise in prices of energy and other raw materials. "We have agreed to take care of those most affected by energy prices and, at the same time, to work together to establish effective control of the whole chain," said the Prime Minister after the meeting.