SAVINJSKA - Economy
One of the most industrialized region
Savinjska generating 11.7% of the national gross value added in 2000. The region's industry contributed 15.0% to the gross value added produced by all industry in Slovenia in 2000, surpassed only by the Osrednjeslovenska region (24.7%). Within the region's gross value added, the share of industry is 46.3%. The contribution of the service sector (49.6%) is considerably below the national average (60.4%), while agriculture and forestry contribute 4.2%.
The region's main agricultural area is in the Lower Savinja Valley where hops for export are the most important crop (accounting for approximately 3% of world production). In the central part of the valley, arable fields, which were at one time merged into large agricultural complexes, are today state owned, though hops is also produced by numerous individual farmers. Dairy and beef cattle, pig and poultry farming are also important in lowland areas as well as in the mountainous Upper Savinja Valley where forests are an important source of income, too. Fruit is grown along the edges of the Lower Savinja Valley and in the eastern part of the region.
There are two industrial areas in the region: an older one in Celje and the Lower Savinja Valley, and another in the Velenje Basin, established after World War II. Industry was initiated in Celje soon after the construction of the Vienna-Trieste railway (1857). Chemical and food-processing, the manufacture of metal products and printing are important industries today. In the mining town of Velenje, the Gorenje factory, established in the 1960s, is one of the largest producers of household appliances in Europe. A large thermal power plant (755 MW), of great importance for electricity production in Slovenia, is situated in nearby
Šoštanj. It generates more than a third of all Slovenian electricity in the winter months, when the river discharge is at its lowest.
Numerous smaller industrial towns (each providing 500-2 000 jobs) can also be found here. Among the most successful of these are Zreče (production of forge tools and artificial grindstones),
Rogaška Slatina (glassworks), Laško (brewery), Nazarje (furniture) and Polzela (stockings factory).
Service activities are concentrated mainly in Celje which is the third most important service centre in Slovenia. It is also an exhibition centre with the renowned annual International Craft Fair. Health-resort tourism is also an important activity.
At the crossroads of major transport routes
The regional centre of Celje is the third most important traffic hub in Slovenia. Here, roads from Koroška, Spodnjeposavska and neighbouring Croatia join the sub-Alpine traffic route connecting Central Europe and the Mediterranean. The E57, a major road connecting Wels-Graz-Maribor-Celje-Ljubljana, runs through the region. It is a motorway, except for the section crossing the Trojane pass which is to be completed by the end of 2004.
There are 628 km of major roads in the region. Apart from the aforementioned E57 road, the most important are the Celje-Šentjur-Rogaška Slatina-Krapina (Croatia) road, the Arja vas-Velenje-Slovenj Gradec-Dravograd road and the Celje-Laško-Zidani Most road. The main traffic route in the mountainous part of Savinjska is the regional Šentrupert-Mozirje-Solčava road, which has not yet been extended to connect the region with Austria.
A dense network of mostly paved local roads covers the plains and hilly areas of Savinjska, while local and forest roads connect villages and isolated farmsteads with the valleys in mountainous areas. Savinjska has 108 600 passenger cars or 423 cars per 1 000 persons which is slightly below the national average.
There are 161 km of railway track in Savinjska. The most important is the southern railway line between Vienna and Trieste, constructed between 1841 and 1857. Its Savinjska section is an entirely electrified double-track railway. In the important railway junction at Zidani Most, another line of the same category (constructed in 1862) branches off, leading towards Zagreb. Other local lines include the Savinjska track (constructed in 1891) connecting Celje and Velenje, in Grobelno a local track leading towards Rogatec and Krapina (Croatia) branches off, while in 1960, the Stranje-Kumrovec-Harmica line was constructed through the Sotla valley, leading towards Zagreb.
There are no airports in Savinjska, the Ljubljana international airport is 75 km from Celje, and rivers in the region are not navigable.