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CEZ to Update Temelin Timetable After Czech Government Falls

CEZ AS, the state-controlled Czech power producer, will update the timetable for its $10 billion Temelin nuclear-power expansion after the government collapsed in the middle of bidding by contractors to build the project.

“The tender is still on,” CEZ’s spokeswoman Barbora Pulpanova said today in a telephone interview. “Negotiations with bidders should enter the next phase next week, and we’ll make an announcement regarding the timetable of the tender.”

The interim government will lack the mandate to decide on the tender, originally due to be completed by the summer, Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok told the Hospodarske Noviny newspaper.

Rusnok was appointed by President Milos Zeman after the collapse of the previous administration because of a scandal over illegal spying and bribery allegations.

“This government should make decisions only on absolutely necessary issues,” Bohumil Trampota, an analyst at J&T Banka AS, said in a note to investors.

Westinghouse Electric Co. and a Russian-Czech group led by Rosatom Corp. are the two remaining bidders to build the two new reactors after Areva SA’s offer was excluded in October. CEZ, 70 percent state-owned, planned to sign a deal by the year-end.

Rusnok’s “government of experts,” as Zeman has called it, needs to win a confidence vote in the lower house of parliament that all parties have said they will reject. If it fails to win the motion, Rusnok’s Cabinet will stay in office on a caretaker basis until Zeman names a replacement or an election is held.

The next election ballot is scheduled for May 2014.

CEZ rose 0.6 percent to 472.9 koruna by 12:37 p.m. in Prague. The stock has declined by 30 percent this year.

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