The important role of TEB in ensuring system stability
(2.709 GWh for Slovenia)
of energy sources (nuclear, hydro and solar)
EUR 105,6 million
EUR 3.5 billion
EMPLOYEES AND INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL
66 % of employees with at least: vsaj higher education qualifications
Implementation of action plan to optimise operations expenditure for research and development
EUR 79.35 million
Preparation of studies for JEK2 project
Safe, reliable and environmentally friendly supply of electricity to customers. Advanced services for customers – realisation of the green transformation. Strengthening understanding of energy and the energy sector amongst key stakeholders
Through our operations, we help realize the following goals of sustainable development.
GEN GROUP COMPANIES
NEK in 2021
- Production of 5,419 GWh of electricity.
- The amount of electricity to which GEN is entitled pursuant to the Intergovernmental Agreement on the NEK was 2,709 GWh.
- Actual results higher than planned: 102%
- Capability factor: 90.15%
- Availability factor: 90.65%
- Capacity factor: 92.88%
SEL in 2021
- 339 GWh of electricity produced.
- Launch of a two-year project to replace the spillway gates at the Medvode HPP.
- Successfully completed activities to purchase MHE Bistrica.
- 102.8% of plan for 2021 achieved.
TEB in 2021
- Total of 10 activations and 12 start-ups of gas turbine unit nos. PB1 to PB6.
- Total electricity production of 52.3 GWh (46.1 GWh net).
- The TEB also functioned for commercial purposes due to favourable conditions on the electricity market.
- Completion of technical inspection of gas turbine unit no. PB7
HESS in 2021
- 280 GWh of electricity produced (share attributable to GEN).
- 95.3% of plan for 2021 achieved.
- Continuation of procedures in connection with the construction of the Mokrice HPP and acquisition of a building permit for the construction of a photovoltaic power plant at the Brežice HPP
GEN-I in 2021
- Electricity trading volume: 44.71 TWh
- Main purchase and sales markets: Central, Southeast and Western Europe.
- More than 24 thousand new customers.
- Leading supplier of green solutions.
- More than 3,000 new solar power plants on the roofs of Slovenian houses.
- Maintenance of stable electricity prices in demanding market conditions.
Key points in business by content sections
The GEN Group ended 2021 very successfully, with a net profit of EUR 105.6 million, an increase of 64% relative to 2020. The primary bases for achieving good results are the stable, safe and reliable functioning of all production facilities of GEN Group companies, better-than-planned production, an appropriate marketing strategy, successful risk management, an appropriate response to the epidemic and cost control. Such truly remarkable results were driven by exceptional market conditions and the most successful financial year ever for the GEN-I Group. Investments in the data infrastructure have facilitated the rapid development of the digitalisation of support activities, and rapid, analytical decision-making using the most advanced tools. Global trading contributed most to the group’s record results. Market opportunities emerged in 2021 and we took full advantage of them. Without development and adaptations, those opportunities would have gone unexploited or might never have been identified.
We continue to grow. With EUR 3.5 billion in turnover, the group consolidated its position as one of the largest business groups in Slovenia and ranked among the country’s strongest business groups in terms of investment.
The production units of GEN Group companies generated a combined total of 3,388 GWh of electricity. We are satisfied with those results, as they were 2% higher than planned in the context of a scheduled major overhaul at the NEK and changing hydrological conditions on the Sava River. The year was characterised by above-average hydrological conditions in the first half of the year and below-average hydrological conditions during the second half of the year, when production by hydroelectric power plants was below the planned level over that entire period. Worthy of special mention are the months of May, when SEL and HESS achieved record-high production, and September, when both companies recorded near record-low production.
The NEK once again demonstrated a high level of reliability and the transparency of its operations. It operated safely and stably at full capacity most of the time, and generated 5,419 GWh of electricity, 2,709 GWh of which is the property of GEN, or effectively the Republic of Slovenia, under the Intergovernmental Agreement on the NEK. That amount was 2% higher than planned. Production by the NEK was above the planned level in all months, except for September when it reached 99.3% of the planned level. A scheduled major overhaul was successfully carried out from 1 April to 5 May 2021. Contributing significantly to the NEK’s results are highly committed employees, and an effective and proactive response following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the context of changing hydrological conditions in 2021, our hydroelectric power plants generated 619 GWh of electricity thanks to their reliable and successful operation.
Through reliable start-ups, the Brestanica Thermal Power Plant (TEB) also confirmed its role in ensuring power grid stability. The aforementioned power plant was started up 12 times in 2021 for grid balancing purposes. With electricity market prices reaching record highs, the functioning of the new PB6 gas turbine unit, in particular, was a commercially interesting option, despite higher fuel and emission allowance prices.
Electricity production at all of our production facilities was safe, reliable and environmentally friendly throughout the year, as the result of our past and ongoing prudent investments in knowledge and equipment.
A total of 99% of all electricity generated by GEN Group companies came from low-carbon, sustainable and renewable sources, i.e. nuclear, hydro and solar.
Development and investments
We were also active in the area of investments, as the GEN Group is aware that Vision 3 + 1 for the electricity transition is the key to the decarbonisation of the Slovenian electricity sector and thus society as a whole. Total investments amounted to EUR 79.35 million in 2021.
Investments made by the NEK in 2021 related primarily to dry cask storage for spent nuclear fuel, an additional water source and injection pumps, and alternative cooling in the primary core and reactor building. Following 18 months of operation and the production of more than 8.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, the NEK was shut down on 1 April 2021 for a scheduled major overhaul. The power plant was reconnected to the electric power grid on 5 May 2021. Despite the difficult epidemiological conditions, which hampered the delivery of goods and services, more than 40 thousand activities were carried out, without delay and to the planned extent during that overhaul, thanks to the professional and responsible work of all those involved. An environmental impact report was drafted in connection with the process of extending the operational life of the NEK. At the beginning of October 2021, the NEK submitted a request to the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning (MESP) for the issue of environmental protection approval. The MESP called on the responsible ministries and organisations to issue opinions regarding the acceptability of the intended action. Those opinions were forwarded to the NEK in the middle of December, with a request to take a position regarding those opinions and the findings of the ministry.
The beginning of October marked 40 years since the NEK was first synchronised by the electric power grid. During that period, the NEK demonstrated a high level of the stability and efficiency of its functioning, which contributes significantly to the reliability of Slovenian and European electric power grids.
The TEB successfully completed the project to replace gas turbine unit no. 7. An internal technical inspection was carried out on 22 February 2021, while an additional technical inspection was successfully completed on 1 April 2021. A six-month test period was ordered based on the results of the technical inspection. A decision was received on 1 December 2021, extending the test period for another six months. This will be followed by receipt of an operating permit and placement of the gas-fired production unit into use. With the establishment of a second gas turbine unit (PB7), the TEB completed its investment in two new gas turbine units that will gradually replace three old units built in 1974.
In March, SEL began works on a two-year project to replace the spillways at the Medvode HPP, which is currently that company’s largest investment in terms of value and complexity. The no. 1 spillway was replaced on time and within financial constraints, while the replacement of the no. 2 spillway is in progress. Activities to purchase MHE Bistrica (a small hydroelectric power plant), which began back in 2019, were successfully completed in 2021. The merger of MHE Bistrica d.o.o. with SEL was entered in the companies register at the end of 2021.
HESS continued with preparations for the construction of the last hydroelectric power plant in the chain, the Mokrice HPP. At the end of September 2021, the Administrative Court annulled the Slovenian government’s decision overriding the public benefit of nature conservation and sent the matter back for reconsideration. As the investor, HESS met all necessary conditions for the requisite building permit. According to the court, however, the administrative authority did not include the findings of the environmental impact assessment in its decision in accordance with the General Administrative Procedure Act (ZUP). The Slovenian government must therefore repeat the procedure in accordance with the court’s findings.
In September 2021, HESS received a building permit for the construction of a photovoltaic power plant with a rated power of 6 MWp at the D3 sediment depot alongside the run-of-the-river and reservoir-type Brežice HPP.
Expansion of nuclear production capacities
Based on the Resolution on Slovenia’s Long-Term Climate Strategy until 2050 (ReDPS50) and the comprehensive National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), the Ministry of Infrastructure issued an electricity generation licence for the JEK2 project on 19 July, and thus opened the door for the implementation of administrative procedures and the preparation of documentation for the decision on the investment in JEK2. This is a necessary basis for a final decision regarding the optimal energy scenario for the future supply of low-carbon electricity to Slovenia. The electricity generation licence became official on 20 August. The next step in the JEK2 project is the start of spatial planning. At the end of 2021, GEN submitted materials to the Ministry of Infrastructure in response to the latter’s proposal to begin the spatial planning of JEK2.
In accordance with the GEN Group’s Vision 3 + 1, the JEK2 project has been designed so that it will have a key impact on the achievement of goals regarding the reliability and competitiveness of supply and the achievement of climate goals, and will contribute to reducing Slovenia’s reliance on imported energy. JEK2 is thus needed today. Studies of the justification of the project conducted to date have shown that JEK2 is a crucial and feasible project for the future supply of domestically produced electricity to Slovenia, and is the appropriate response to the key challenges of our energy and climate future. Construction of JEK2 is also urgent in terms of increasing the proportion of diversified sources, as growth in the proportion of those sources in the production of electricity is also conditional on production from a stable facility such as JEK2.
The 2021 financial year was a breakthrough for the GEN-I Group. The green transformation, digitalisation, the health crisis and above all the energy crisis that drove energy prices to record highs tested the capacities of the GEN-I Group and the expertise of its employees. Despite the aforementioned crises, achieved results exceeded all expectations, and serve as proof that the GEN-I Group is built on solid foundations and is prepared for crisis situations. Preparedness for such a crisis and innovative operations meant that electricity and natural gas prices for GEN-I’s residential customers remained unchanged.
The reason that planned results were exceeded lies in past investments that facilitated the exploitation of unexpected business opportunities due to very unusual market conditions. We adapted very quickly to the new conditions; by analysing energy markets, we identified business opportunities that our experienced team exploited.
In terms of revenue generated, the GEN-I Group ranks amongst the largest companies in Slovenia and one of the 50 most successful companies in the region. No company in Slovenia generated more revenue on foreign markets than the GEN-I Group.
Through a successful strategy and conservative liquidity risk management policy, the GEN-I Group successfully managed liquidity during the current energy crisis.
The GEN-I Group also recorded significant achievements in the supply of electricity and natural gas to end-customers. Our portfolio grew by more than 24 thousand new customers in 2021, and by an additional 10 thousand on 1 January 2022. Continuous growth in the number of loyal customers is the result of built trust, a transparent and stable pricing policy, and a superior customer experience. We thus further strengthened trust and enhanced the loyalty of customers, which in itself is an investment for the long term. The latter is evidenced by recognition as the most Trusted Brand, a title the GEN-I Group has received for eight consecutive years.
Development of customer services
In the GEN Group, we develop advanced services for our clients. Also in 2021, we upgraded our basic service by creating additional services based on advanced technologies and the convergence of energy, transport and information and communication technology activities. We continued to follow the global trends of decarbonization, decentralization and digitization. Through participation in development projects, we have thoughtfully connected the supply of electricity with a wider range of related services, which enable increasingly flexible household, industrial and service producers to implement a green transformation. In doing so, GEN-I, as a leading provider of green solutions, increased the number of solar power plants on the roofs of Slovenian houses to more than 3,000 in 2021, and at the same time, with an innovative energy community (i.e. GEN-I Solar Communities), enabled active inclusion in the energy transition also for those , who do not have the conditions for a solar power plant on their own roof.
In 2021, we successfully continued the intensive implementation of the action plan to optimize the operations of the company and the GEN Group. Despite the challenging conditions on the energy market, we managed to manage the risks with good coordination, internal optimization processes and market activity, and in terms of the profit generated, we exceeded the plans. Successful business is the foundation of future energy supply, as it enables reliable management of investments in the development of energy infrastructure.
Employees and knowledge
At the heart of our business were and remain employees with their knowledge and dedication: in 2021 there were 1,232 of us, of which more than 66% had at least a higher education. We upgraded and developed our own training programs.
Energy education and public awareness
We strengthened the understanding of topics related to energy and energetics in various target groups. Expanding support for nuclear energy is of key importance for the further development of GEN in the nuclear field, which is why we actively participated in various public hearings and energy conferences with targeted communication and presentations of the JEK2 project. We strengthened digital communication on social networks and established direct online communication with schools, including the use of the content of the online junction on energy and energy eSvet.