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.
Associations representing the interests of towns and municipalities have
called on Minister for Regional Development Klára Dostálová (ANO) to
withdraw the current draft bill for a new Building Act. A completely new
proposal needs to be created as the legislation is so bad, the Chairman of
the Union of Towns and Municipalities František Lukl said in a press
release issued on Monday together with the Association for Rural Renewal.
Mrs Dostálová has not yet commented on the statement.
The draft Building Act has elicited criticism in the media as well. In October, it was described as a de-facto privatization of the legislative process which plays into the hand of developers, in the weekly magazine Respekt.
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 carriers Smartwings and Czech Airlines will definitively cancel flights
to the United Kingdom after having already suspended services to Birmingham
and London on their winter flight schedule, the server zdopravy.cz reports.
Smartwings, the majority owner of Czech Airlines, had previously announced it would comply with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) directive on grounding Boeing 737 MAX aircraft after two accidents early this year.
"In a situation where we cannot operate B 737 MAX aircraft in the long term, it is necessary to focus exclusively on optimum commercial use of our fleet and operation of lines that meet our business expectations," Smartwings group spokeswoman Vladimíra Dufková is quoted as saying.
In January, the carriers’ lines to Iceland with a stopover in Copenhagen will also be interrupted. The last connection will fly from Prague on 6 January and back on 7 January. It should be restored in the summer, but without a stopover in Denmark.
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.
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.