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CEZ Set to Bid for Romanian Power Distributor in Wind Expansion

CEZ AS (CEZ), the Czech Republic’s largest power producer, may bid for one of Romania’s state-controlled power distributors as it plans to develop small hydroelectric plants and wind farms in the eastern European nation.

CEZ is targeting as much as 1,100 megawatts of wind power in Romania by 2016, Ondrej Safar, the executive in charge of generation, said today at a press conference in Bucharest. It plans to buy one of the three power distributors should the Romanian government go ahead with a sale, said Jan Veskrna, CEZ’s country manager for Romania.

While CEZ has limited most foreign acquisitions to focus on the construction of nuclear reactors at home, that hasn’t stopped it from seeking to expand in Romania where the government offers an incentive plan for wind investments. Romania expects to increase its installed wind capacity to 1,400 megawatts this year from about 800 megawatts in February.

CEZ lobbied the Romanian government to start the sales process for the power distributors and will bid unless all three distribution companies are sold together, Veskrna said. “We are in a standby mode,” he said.

Bidding for Electrica Muntenia Nord makes most sense, Veskrna said. All three companies are currently controlled by Romanian power distributor Electrica SA.

CEZ already operates a 600-megawatt wind farm project in Fantanele and Cogealac in eastern Romania near the Black Sea coast. The company has previously said it plans to have as much as 3,000 megawatts of wind farms in Poland, Romania and Germany by 2016.

To contact the reporter on this story: Irina Savu in Bucharest at isavu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ladka Bauerova at lbauerova@bloomberg.net

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