ČEZ’s chief executive pledged on Tuesday that the three foreign companies lined up for a multi-billion dollar tender to build two new nuclear reactors at the Czech Temelín plant will be given the tender documentation needed to start making their offers by the end of October.
“We have three quality bidders,” ČEZ chief executive and board chairman Daniel Beneš said at a news conference on Tuesday. “All the documentation required [for bids] should be given to bidders by the end of the month.”
‘All the documentation required should be given to bidders by the end of the month.’
The contestant companies — France’s Areva, US-based nuclear company Westinghouse, and a consortium led by Russia’s Atomstroyexport and Czech nuclear industry supplier Škoda JS — are eagerly lining up bids for the Temelín expansion contract, worth an estimated Kč 200 billion, with options included for the construction of three further units.
Beneš said the latest calendar drawn up by the almost 70-percent state-controlled company still applied with offers from the three bidders expected in mid-2012 and a final decision on the winner at the end of 2013. The first of the two new nuclear reactors should be up and running in 2022 or 2023 with the second in the following year, the ČEZ chief added.
The Temelín expansion deal is important for all three companies not just for the size of the contract but also a reference for future orders in a still hoped for global nuclear power renaissance caused by the need to combat climate change and conserve resources. The nuclear renaissance scenario has been dented, however, by the Tsunami-caused accident at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in March.
US, French and Russian leaders have all raised the Temelín contract in talks with Czech counterparts over recent months with Prague concerned at the political fallout from the two eventual countries whose companies are not selected.
ČEZ previously rescheduled its timeline for staging of the Temelín tender and expected completion of the extra plants citing contractors’ failure to come up with sufficient guarantees over cost overruns for construction and meeting deadlines.
Beneš told Czech Position that talks with the Slovak center-right coalition government over whether one of the options for another reactor would be built in the Czech Republic’s neighbor. A joint venture company has already been created with that possibility in mind between ČEZ and the Slovak state nuclear company JAVYS. A feasibility study on the possibility of building the nuclear reactor in Slovakia should be completed in mid-2012, Beneš added.