The Czech Republic wins arbitration case against British BCD over toxic cleanup; Tyres producer Mitas opens first plant in the USA; Škoda Auto raised first quarter profit by 11.8%; Energy Regulatory Office to halt support for new renewable energy sources; Czech claims on other countries total 22.35 billion
The Czech Republic has won a 500 million crown arbitration case against the British company BCD over the toxic cleanup of the Czech company Spolana. According to the daily Hospodářské noviny, BCD lost its contract to clean contaminated parts of Spolana after installing its own cleaning technology in the plant and used its own original procedure to clean up the area. After two years of disputes, BCD CZ filed an arbitration complaint against the Czech state in 2010. It claimed the Finance Ministry had failed to pay it 300 million and it also wanted 180 million in compensation for its technologies in the Spolana plant. The arbitration verdict turned down all of BCD CZ’s complaints; the company has reportedly not filed a protest against the decision.
The agricultural and industrial tyres producer Mitas opened its first plant in the United States this week. The Charles City, Iowa, plant is set to take on around 150 employees this year producing Mitas and Continental-brand agricultural tyres designed for the northern American market. By the end of 2013 the plant plans to have 237 employees and a production capacity of 13,500 tonnes of tyres a year. Mitas is one of the leading European producers of agricultural tyres, with every fourth tractor and combine harvester produced in Europe using its products. Chief executive Jaroslav Čechura said that in America Mitas wants to lean on its established suppliers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and help them open the door to this market. If they can succeed overseas, he said, so can the others.
The largest Czech automobile manufacturer Škoda Auto raised its first quarter profit by 11.8% year-on-year to 5.2 billion crowns, according to the business results published by the Volkswagen Group. Škoda sold 206,000 cars in the January-March period, an annual increase of 13.9%, but supplied nearly 243,000 cars to the market, which includes orders from last year. Demand for Fabia, Yeti and Octavia models as well as for the Rapid in India was encouraging, said the parent group. The operating profit of Volkswagen overall grew by 10.2% in the first quarter, better than analysts had expected thanks to record sales.
The Energy Regulatory Office is preparing to halt its support for new renewable energy sources as of the year 2014. The current level of support is beyond the means of the Czech economy, the office reported this week. The change will apply to new sources put into operation after 2014 and will not concern existing renewable sources and those set to be launched by the end of 2013. Should indeed support be halted in 2014, the costs of renewable sources will amount to 874.3 billion by 2034, compared to well over a trillion if they were stopped at a later date. The decision will require a change in legislation though, as current support for existing renewable sources is guaranteed for 20 years.
The Czech Republic's claims on other countries totalled 22.35 billion crowns at the end of 2011, compared to 21.95 billion the year before according to a Finance Ministry report submitted to the government today. The report states that foreign countries repaid around 123 million in debt to the Czech Republic over the course of 2011. Cuba, which refuses to hold talks on its debt, was the biggest debtor, with more than 6.5 billion owed from civilian loans. Other big debtors include Iraq, former Yugoslavian countries, Russia and Sudan. Debt from special - secret - loans amounted to more than 6.1 billion at the end of last year. Special loans to cover supplies of military material, for instance, have been provided to Libya and Cuba.