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ZAGREB (Croatia), October 3 (SeeNews) - Croatia should consider joining Slovenia in its plans to build a second unit at Krsko nuclear power plant (NPP), which the two countries operate jointly, Croatian energy minister Tomislav Coric said.
Considering the fact that Croatia imports between 35% and 50% of the electricity it needs, depending on the hydrological conditions, it should be interested in any new installed megawatt of electricity, Coric told reporters in Zagreb on Wednesday, as reported by state broadcaster HRT. A video file with his statement was uploaded on HRT's website.
The moment Slovenia proposes partnership on the possible construction of a second unit at the plant, Croatia should consider accepting it, Coric said, adding he believes this issue might be put on the table in the coming year.
His statement comes after in August Slovenian prime minister Marjan Sarec said that Slovenia should put all efforts to start building a second unit at Krsko in order to avoid any electricity shortages in the future.
Sarec said in September that investors from the US, Russia and other countries are interested in the project, adding it might take up to ten years before Slovenia takes a final decision on it and opens an international tender for the construction of the second unit.
The Krsko plant was built in Slovenia near the border with Croatia in the 1970s and launched operations in 1982 when the two countries were still part of former Yugoslavia.
The plant was originally designed to operate until 2023. In 2016, however, Slovenia's GEN Energija and Croatian power utility Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP) decided to extend its lifespan by 20 years until 2043, under the condition that the plant will undergo a security check every ten years.
The plant has 2000 MW thermal power capacity, which generates over five billion kWh of electricity per year.
It is jointly managed by its two owners - GEN Energija and HEP. The two neighbouring countries share the power plant's output.