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.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic rose to 2.9 percent in December, up from
2.6 percent in November, according to data released by the Czech Labour
Office on Thursday.
Despite the rise, it is the lowest figure for the period of December since 1996. According to the statistics, there are currently 215,500 people seeking employment.
The lowest unemployment rate was in Prague, with 1.9 percent, while the highest number of unemployed, 4.4 percent, was registered in the region of Moravia-Silesia.
In his traditional Christmas message to the nation, President Miloš Zeman began as usual on a positive note – highlighting the country’s economic successes – before turning to what he views as problematic areas. In a 16-minute televised address otherwise void of religious symbolism, Zeman also branded himself a “climate heretic” and urged Czechs to think for themselves rather than follow “false prophets”.
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.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic remained at 2.6 percent in November, the
same as the previous month, the Czech Labour Office announced on Monday.
The number of jobless increased by 771 to 197,289, which is the lowest figure for the month since 1996, while the number of vacancies increased to 339,000. Last November, unemployment stood at 2.8 percent.
The lowest rate of unemployment, 1.8 percent, is in the Pardubice region, which is followed by Prague with 1.9 percent.
Czech economic growth in the 3rd quarter has slowed to 2.5 percent
year-on-year, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office.
Compared to the 2nd quarter GDP rose by 0.4 percent.
Analysts say this confirms the predicted slow-down in economic growth, although compared to the situation in Germany, the Czech Republic’s main export destination, the Czech figures are still viewed as positive.
Economic growth in 2018 reached 2.9 percent and the prediction for this year is 2.5 percent.
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.
The European Commission on Thursday revised its outlook for Czech economic
growth for this year. In the newly released macro-economic forecast it sees
the country’s gross domestic product growth falling to 2.5 percent.
The report expects growth next year to reach 2.2 percent. Earlier this year it predicted a figure of 2.5 percent for 2020.
The Czech Republic is now ahead of Spain in terms of GDP per capita adjusted to purchasing power parity (PPP). At least according to the latest OECD data, which show the country ranked 27th among the organisation’s 36 member states, with Spain one place behind, news site Aktuálně reports. However, the country still ranks bellow the EU average.