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Areva Excluded From Bidding to Build CEZ Reactors at Temelin

Areva SA, the world’s largest supplier of nuclear fuel and services, was excluded from bidding to build two Czech reactors at CEZ AS’s nuclear power plant Temelin.

The Paris-based company failed to meet legislative and commercial requirements of the tender, CEZ spokesman Ladislav Kriz said in a phone interview. Areva plans to file an objection against the decision, it said in an e-mailed statement.

The Czech utility plans to choose a builder for the third and fourth reactors at the Temelin plant by the middle of next year. The other two bidders, Westinghouse Electric Corp. and a Russian-Czech consortium led by Rosatom Corp.’s unit ZAO Atomstroyexport, weren’t excluded.

“All I can say at this point is that Areva’s offer had serious shortcomings,” Kriz said. “They were both commercial and legislative.”

Areva has 15 days to appeal the decision, during which CEZ won’t comment on the specific reasons that its offer was rejected, Kriz said. The French company can also turn to the anti-competition office.

“Areva firmly believes we have all the tender criteria and we look forward to addressing the issues raised by CEZ,” spokeswoman Patricia Marie said in the statement. “Our commitment to the Temelin project remains absolute.”

CEZ is currently Europe’s only utility with an atomic project out to bid. The winner of the Temelin tender will be chosen by the middle of next year and the final contract must be signed before the end of 2013, the company said.

The utility has started drawing up a list of potential financial partners for the project, whose cost has been estimated at $10 billion by analysts and some investors. CEZ may hold a separate tender for an investor after the supplier is chosen, Chief Executive Officer Daniel Benes said in July.

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