Rosatom Interested in Co-Funding $10 Billion CEZ Nuclear Project

Rosatom Corp., Russia’s state-run nuclear company, is interested in co-financing the $10 billion construction of two reactors at the Czech Temelin power plant after bidding to lead building work on the CEZ AS (CEZ) development.

“We would be able to finance 100 percent of this project but we understand that’s not possible,” Rosatom Deputy Chief Executive Officer Kirill Komarov said. “I don’t think CEZ would agree to that. We are ready to become a minority shareholder.”

A Rosatom-led Russian and Czech group is competing against Westinghouse Electric Corp. after France’s Areva SA (AREVA) was excluded from bidding last week for failing to meet legal and commercial conditions. Areva, the largest supplier of nuclear fuel and services, is appealing the decision. CEZ aims to choose a winner by mid-2013 and sign a final contract by the end of the year.

CEZ is drawing up a list of possible financial partners and may hold a separate tender for an investor once the supplier is chosen, according to Chief Executive Officer Daniel Benes.

Rosatom hasn’t yet been contacted to discuss any financial participation, Komarov said today in Prague. “I don’t think it’s because CEZ doesn’t want us,” he said. “It’s because CEZ wants to run both tenders correctly and transparently.”

While Komarov hasn’t ruled out cooperating with Areva, CEZ would need to allow the Russian company to alter the list of subcontractors that was submitted with its bid, he said.

“We have very good experience cooperating with Areva,” he said. Rosatom’s business with the French company is worth several hundred million euros a year, Komarov said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladka Bauerova in Paris at lbauerova@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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