Near 70 percent state-owned Czech electricity giant ČEZ says it is willing to test out whether a partner could be found for the estimated Kč 150 billion–Kč 200 billion tender to add two new nuclear reactors to its Temelín site. If the path seems promising a tender for a partner could be held once the constructor had been chosen in 2013.
The regional director of French nuclear power plant constructor Areva says doubts about the Temelín nuclear expansion tender resulting in a winner and a substantial part of the work going to local companies are misplaced.
Rusatom Overseas, the foreign marketing arm of Russian state nuclear construction company Rosatom, has upped the pressure on its two rival bidders to build two new reactors at Temelín by saying it can finance the whole project if need be. Areva of France and Westinghouse, a US unit of Japan’s Toshiba, have refused to give such a commitment. The move puts pressure on ČEZ and the Czech state if financing becomes the key issue for Temelín’s expansion.
The flurry of local alliances and tie-ups from competitors to land the contract to expand the Temelín nuclear power plant continues with the Russian-Czech joint venture announcing a further 10 local and Slovak companies who could be suppliers for the ČEZ contract and others worldwide.
Anti-nuclear protestors gathered in Mitterteich, Bavaria, on Sunday — the first anniversary of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan — to voice their opposition to nuclear power in general, and specifically against expanding the Temelín power plant in South Bohemia, where the Czech state-controlled power major ČEZ intends to construct two new reactor blocks by 2025.
US Ambassador to the Czech Republic Norman Eisen has said he expects the expansion of the Temelín nuclear power plant to go ahead as planned despite recent comments by officials from the Czech government and state-controlled power producer ČEZ that it may be cancelled or no winner chosen in the tender. As for the project’s viability, Areva’s representative has said the project doesn’t depend on current electricity prices.
Promises of a nuclear renaissance have fizzled out — not over Fukushima, but over financing — with the cost of building new plants soaring. Czech electricity producer ČEZ says its own cash flow could fund two new Temelín reactors, but the resulting scrimping and constrictions would not be welcome. Partnerships and support options may help lighten the load. But will ČEZ look to the British, Finnish, or American financing models?
Getting local companies on board, preferably in exclusive partnership deals, is not a condition for Czech state-controlled power giant ČEZ's competition to find a main contractor to build two new nuclear reactors at its Temelín site, but it will certainly be seen as a big help in sugaring the final bid. French contract bidder Areva is to unveil around a dozen Czech companies it has signed up as partners for its offer on Monday.
The French bank BNP Paribas has won a tender called by ČEZ to find a partner to finance the Kč 200 billion expansion of its Temelín nuclear power plant — if the power company decides not to go it alone, Czech Position has learned from a trusted source within the domestic energy sector. BNP Paribas beat out six other invited contenders: Citibank, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Rothschild and HSCB.
Westinghouse has signed an exclusive partnership with the Czech Republic’s biggest local construction company, Metrostav, in a bid to put it ahead of rival bidders for the contract to build two new nuclear reactors at the Temelín plant. If Westinghouse wins, the reward for Metrostav — which has no nuclear experience but has worked on ČEZ contracts to build conventional power plants — should be around a third of the value of the whole Kč 200 billion deal.