Westinghouse Electric Corp., Areva SA (AREVA) and a Russian-Czech consortium led by Rosatom Corp.’s Atomstroyexport unit, the three bidders selected by CEZ in 2010, submitted their final offers today, the Prague-based utility said in an e-mailed statement.
The new third-generation reactors are intended to replace CEZ’s aged coal-fired plants, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and solidify the Czech Republic’s position as a regional power exporter. CEZ will choose the winner of the tender, whose value is estimated by analysts at $10 billion, before the end of 2013 and the construction should start no later than 2016, it said.
“The construction of new Temelin reactors is a key pillar of CEZ’s strategy,” Chief Executive Officer Daniel Benes said in the statement. “Today marks a significant step towards ensuring steady electricity supply for Czech customers for decades to come.”
CEZ fell 0.7 percent to 692.2 koruna at 12:07 p.m. in Prague. The stock has lost 12 percent of its value this year.
The company said it may hold another public tender to choose a strategic partner that would help it finance the Temelin expansion after the supplier is chosen in 2013. Electricite de France SA, the largest nuclear-reactor operator in Europe, is among companies that have held talks with CEZ on a possible partnership.
While CEZ is capable of financing the construction of Temelin units 3 and 4 on its own through a combination of cash flow and debt, inviting another investor remains an option because it would leave the Czech utility a freer hand to invest in other projects, Benes said last month.
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