Czech utility ČEZ plans to build a 'gigafactory' for batteries
for cars in North Bohemia in the coming years that would use lithium
discovered in the Ore Mountains near Cínovec, on the German border.
Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček said during a visit to Berlin on Wednesday that ČEZ plans to use lithium stocks from both countries.
The Czech Republic has the biggest lithium reserves in Europe and many politicians have pushed for its mining to be in the hands of a state-controlled company, such as ČEZ.
The Temelín nuclear power plant is southern Bohemia will be scaling down
production on both its blocks in the coming days due to scheduled
maintenance, the power utility ČEZ reported.
Operation on one will be reduced by ten percent, and the other will operate at half its capacity in order to enable safe maintenance. Both will remain connected to the grip and should return to full capacity by December 24th.
The Australian mining company European Metals Holdings (EMH) Limited has
reached a conditional agreement with the Czech energy company ČEZ Group
regarding a strategic partnership as well as large investment into a
lithium mining project around Cínovec in the North West of the country,
the Czech News Agency reports quoting a Wednesday statement by EMH. If the
agreement passes a due diligence check and is approved by shareholders it
will mean that ČEZ will pay EUR 34.06 million to receive a 51 percent
share in Geodet, a subsidiary of EMH, which possesses the rights to mine in
Lithium, a key component of electric car batteries, is sometimes referred to as the “metal of the future”. The Czech Republic is estimated to possess 3 percent of the world’s lithium reserves and the deposit around Cínovec is the largest in Europe.
The question of who owned the country’s lithium reserves was one of the key issues in the last general election in the Czech Republic. The Czech government is the majority owner of ČEZ.
Environmental activists continue to occupy a giant excavator at the Vršany
brown coal mine in protest against the planned sale of the coal-burning
Počerady electric power plant to the group Se.ven Energy, belonging to
Czech billionaire Pavel Tykač. The activists, who forced their way to the
mine on Tuesday morning, are also calling on the Ministry of Environment to
reject an exemption from EU emission norms for the Chvaletice coal power
plant, which also belongs to Sev.en Energy.
Academics and former politicians have been petitioning the power utility ČEZ against the sale of Počerady on the ground that the plant’s continued operation would be in violation of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
Czech utility ČEZ plans to sell its Počerady coal-fired power plant to
Se.ven Energy financier Pavel Tykač when an option comes available at the
end this year and shut down most of its coal resources by 2040.
Vršanská uhelná, part of the Se.ven Energy holding, should start operating the plant as of 2024. The company entered into 50-year contract with ČEZ in 2013 to supply coal to the power plant, which included two options to sell it.
Tykač set up the Se.ven Energy holding company with the aim of investing more than 1 billion euros power plants fired by fossil fuels, even as utilities shift to renewables.
In 2017, Tykač was to offer 10 billion crowns for the Počerady plant, but the supervisory board of state-controlled ČEZ rejected the sale. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO), then minister of finance, also opposed the sale.
The Czech energy giant ČEZ will develop small modular nuclear reactors in
cooperation with the American company NuScale, according to ČEZ spokesman
Ladislav Kříž, who told Czech Television that the two companies signed a
memorandum of understanding on Thursday. ČEZ and NuScale will share their
technical knowledge on the matter and look into the possibilities of using
such energy sources in the Czech Republic and across wider Europe.
The Czech government has a majority share in ČEZ and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stated earlier this year that small scale nuclear power sources are the optimum solution for the country when it comes to constructing new nuclear power plants. NuScale is an industry leader when it comes to the development of these energy sources and is set to launch its first commercial reactor in the US state of Idaho in 2027.
The Constitutional Court rejected a proposal to annul two of last
year's pricing decisions made by the Czech Energy Regulatory
Authority, citing a lack of valid arguments. The proposal was signed by 26
MPs from the Freedom and Direct Democracy party, the Communist Party and
one Social Democrat. They argued that the agency breached the Energy Act,
according to which it has to protect the legitimate interests of customers
and consumers, by increasing prices for no reason.
According to the ruling there was an absence of almost any argumentation that could lead the Court to rule that prices should be changed.