STA, 6 April 2018 - The reappointment of the Slovenian-Croatian management of the jointly owned Krško Nuclear Power Plant (NEK) has been delayed, unofficially because of differences over the Croatian member of the two-strong board.
The shareholders' meeting was scheduled to take a vote on the reappointment of NEK's long-serving chairman Stane Rožman last week before his current term expires on 10 April.
The vote was considered a mere formality, but had to be postponed because the Croatian co-owner of the plant, HEP, made his endorsement conditional on the replacement of the Croatian member of the board, something that the Slovenian side disagreed with, Delo reported on Thursday.
But HEP told the Croatian press agency Hina that it was not opposed to Rožman's reappointment, it only expected him not to obstruct Croatia's right to appoint its board member.
HEP would not disclose the name of the candidate to replace Hrvoje Perharić, whose third consecutive term on the board would end in October 2019.
HEP did say that the candidate had much better references in the field of nuclear energy than those required under the inter-state agreement on NEK.
HEP also denied Delo's allegation that the candidate had links to Croatia's ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), or that he was a member of any other party.
According to Delo, the motive behind the replacement of the Croatian member of the board was to enable Croatian companies to obtain more lucrative contracts at NEK.
The plant is currently undergoing a scheduled maintenance, valued at EUR 101m, about a third of which is to be implemented by external contractors.
Delo also noted that Croatian Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić told last year's session of the bilateral commission for NEK that the construction of a shared nuclear waste repository could be linked with giving Croatian companies the opportunity to provide more lucrative business for the plant than so far.
Rožman, who has been heading NEK for 30 years, had already prevented the replacement of Perharić as the Croatian member of the board in late 2015 on the grounds that the Croatian proposal would not have met the legislative requirements.
At the time NEK called against "irresponsible attempts at disrupting the hard-won partnership which is producing excellent results".