CEZ Receives Three Bids for Temelin Nuclear Power Project

CEZ AS, the Czech Republic’s largest producer of electricity, received three bids for its project to build two new reactors at the Temelin nuclear power station.

Westinghouse Electric Corp., Areva SA 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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