The Russian-Czech joint venture seeking to land the contract to build two new nuclear reactors in the Czech Republic is to sign cooperation agreements with 10 Czech and Slovak companies it sees as potential suppliers.
Rosatom, the mother company of Atomstrojexport, and Czech-based nuclear engineering company ŠKODA JS say the memoranda of understanding will pave the way for the companies to take part in the expansion of the Czech Temelín nuclear power plant and other Russian-led nuclear power plant projects worldwide.
Atomstrojexport and ŠKODA JS are pitted against US-based Westinghouse and France’s Areva for the estimated Kč 150 billion – 200 billion tender to build two new reactors at Czech state-controlled power company ČEZ’s South Bohemian site.
ČEZ has set a July 2 deadline for bids for the massive tender to be handed in with a decision on whether to go ahead with construction and which of the companies to choose as winner being made by the end of 2013.
The Russian-Czech partnership already signed similar contracts with 15 Czech machinery and construction companies in October last year.
The latest signing ceremony to take place on March 20 marks a further flurry in the fight between the three companies to curry favor with Czech power company and its state bosses. French nuclear construction company Areva announced that it had certified a further 14 Czech companies as possible suppliers at the start of the month, adding that further deals were in the pipeline and would continue to be announced up to the end of 2013.
Two months earlier, Westinghouse signed an exclusive deal for Czech construction giant Metrostav to be its exclusive partner for most of the basic building work for the Temelín contract if it landed the deal.
The Temelín tender sets down no criteria or targets for the amount of work to be handed out to local companies but the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade has spelled out that it will be looking for as much work and orders to be sourced locally. That message can be expected to be clearly transmitted to and understood by ČEZ.