Business News


In Business News this week: the Czech power giant ČEZ announces plans to build Europe’s largest onshore wind farm; the average monthly salary in the Czech Republic is up 8 percent, but high inflation means real growth is at its lowest in a decade; Hyundai is reported to be three-months ahead of schedule for the beginning of production at its new plant in Moravia; two Czech firms develop a special car that could prove very useful for wheelchair users; and spend those hellers! – the aluminium coins cease to be legal tender at midnight on Sunday.

Czech power company ČEZ building Europe’s biggest wind farm in Romania

The Czech power producer ČEZ has announced ambitious plans to build what it describes as Europe’s largest onshore wind farm in Romania. Work on the 1.1 billion-euro project will begin in September with just over half the wind farm going into operation next year and the rest in 2010. ČEZ chairman Martin Roman said investing in renewable energy was a strategic measure taken in reaction to EU rules which make production from fossil fuels more expensive.

High inflation means little tangible benefit from 8-percent rise in average wage

The average gross monthly salary in the Czech Republic increased by 8 percent in the second quarter of this year, with average pay at CZK 23,182 (almost USD 1,400). But Czechs are not really feeling that rise in their pockets, with inflation currently hovering about 7 percent. In fact wage growth in real terms is – at 1.1 percent – at its lowest level for ten years.

Hyundai reported to be starting production at new Moravian plant ahead of schedule

The first batch of Czech-made Hyundai i30 cars will roll off the production line at the company’s new plant in north Moravia in November, three months ahead of the original schedule, Reuters reported this week. The first vehicle to be produced at Nošovice will be the i30 hatchback, followed by the i30 estate and an all-new car currently with the provisional name YN.

Czech companies develop special car for wheelchair users

Staying with cars, Mladá fronta Dnes reported this week that two Czech companies have developed a small car that will allow the wheelchair-bound to drive without having to move from their wheelchair into the driver’s seat. A prototype of the vehicle, created by the firms ZLKL Loštice and Auto Projekt Centrum, is already in use in Plzeň. Its makers are hoping to get official approval by this time next year and are planning on producing 500 cars a year.

Last hurrah for 50-heller coins

The smallest Czech coin, the 50-heller piece, ceases to be legal tender on Monday, September 1. The Czech National Bank says it is no longer worth minting the aluminium coin, which weighs just under a gram and is worth less than 3 US cents. Even smaller 10- and 20-heller coins were discontinued in 2003. Some Czech magazines have been rounding up – or down – their prices ahead of the demise of the 50-heller piece, though its disappearance may be felt most keenly by players of the card game mariáš, who often wager the low-value coin to keep things interesting.