Slovakia May Pick Rosatom for Nuclear Project If CEZ Walks Out

Slovakia is ready to accept Russia’s Rosatom Corp. as a partner for the construction of a new nuclear reactor if CEZ AS leaves a joint project with the state, the Economy Ministry said.

CEZ, the Czech Republic’s biggest utility, is considering selling its stake in a venture set up with state-controlled JAVYS to carry out the project, the ministry said in a document scheduled for a Cabinet discussion tomorrow in Bratislava. The state, which has a pre-purchase right for the stake, would negotiate with the Russian company on conditions for allowing it to take the shares, according to the document.

Slovakia picked the Czech company in 2008 as a partner to build a nuclear unit in Jaslovske Bohunice at an estimated cost of between 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) and 6 billion euros. CEZ, which paid 117 million for a 49 percent share in the venture, is shelving the project as it wants to focus on building new blocks at its Temelin plant in the Czech Republic.

The administration of Premier Robert Fico has supported the construction of nuclear plants in an effort to make the country self-sufficient in power needs. The new Bohunice unit is planned to be built at the site of an existing nuclear plant, where Enel SpA’s local unit already operates two reactors.