France's Areva insisting on halting Temelín tender

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Prague, Feb 4 (CTK) - French nuclear firm Areva has appealed a decision of the Czech antitrust office UOHS which in January turned down its request to suspend the tender to complete the nuclear power plant Temelin, the firm told CTK in a press release Monday.

The energy group CEZ, Temelin's operator, excluded Areva from the tender for the expansion of Temelin, which is located in south Bohemia near the Austrian border, in October.

Areva, however, is trying to return to the tender process.

Areva said it requires and insists on suspending the current stage of the Temelin tender so that it may effectively protect its rights and interests.

The UOHS will deal with Areva's appeal, Areva PR agent Tereza Prochazkova told CTK.

Areva may turn to a court after the UOHS issues a final verdict on the matter.

The UOHS in January refused to order CEZ to halt the Temelin tender over proceedings on Areva's disqualification from the tender. An injunction issued last November, however, is still in force. It makes it impossible for CEZ to sign a contract with the winner of the tender until the UOHS decides on Areva's complaint.

CEZ can continue assessing bids of the Japanese-American company Westinghouse and the Czech-Russian consortium MIR.1200.

CEZ is expected to complete a preliminary assessment of the bids by the end of February and then it will discuss the offers with the contenders.

CEZ would like to know the final winner of the tender by September. A contract with the winner would then be signed by the end of the year.

The winner will build the third and fourth units at Temelin as a result of which the plant's current capacity of 2,000 megawatts will more than double. The price of the project is estimated at between Kc200bn and Kc300bn. Temelin's expansion is to be completed by 2025 at the latest.

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