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GKI says Vértes Erőmű should shut down blocks, reduce staff

The state-owned power plant Vértes Erőmű should operate with decreased capacity and a smaller staff by 2020, Director András Vértes of economic think-tank GKI said today.

The Vértes power plant would function efficiently only without its mine and only two of its four blocks in operation, Vértes said. The plant generates loss of HUF 20 billion (€73.05 million) this year. If the plant were running at full capacity, it would generate HUF 134 billion in expenses for the central budget by the year 2020. The plant receives a HUF 500,000 monthly subsidy for each worker. Vértes said the plant should employ only 400 workers by 2020, by which time 1,000 workers would be laid off and 600 would retire, including 250 employees who would take preferential retirement. These steps would result in personnel costs of HUF 4.6 billion between 2010 and 2013, while the state would need to provide HUF 2.8 billion in support by 2014. The reduction in state support could be used to establish a HUF 5 billion unemployment fund, Vértes said. GKI recommends that the plant to shut down its mine in 2010 and operate two of its four blocks on its coal stocks and biomass by 2020. The power plant had revenue of HUF 31.4 billion in 2008, with actual losses of HUF 5 billion - HUF 6 billion. The company earlier reported operating losses of HUF 3.3 billion for previous year. (MTI-Econews)