More than five years of international intrigue ended with a whimper on April 10th as ČEZ, a Czech utility company, officially cancelled the planned expansion of the Temelín nuclear power plant, 120 km south of Prague in the South Bohemia region. The project was undone by a fall in electricity prices and the spectre of a botched state energy scheme in years past.
PRAGUE, April 9 (Reuters) - A tender for the $10-15 billion expansion of the Czech Republic's Temelin nuclear power plant should be wound down and replaced with a new contest with more bidders, President Milos Zeman said on Wednesday.
The plan to build two reactors at the site has been undermined by falling power prices and the government's unwillingness to provide price guarantees to Temelin's owner, CEZ, which is majority-owned by the state.
Human Rights Minister Says Rosatom Should Not continue with Temelin Bid
PRAGUE—Czech ministers for human rights and defense said on Monday that they think the Russian state-run nuclear engineering company Rosatom should be excluded from a $10 billion tender for new reactors following Moscow's occupation of the Crimean peninsula.
"I personally cannot imagine that the Russians would continue to participate in the tender to expand Temelin," said Jiri Dienstbier Jr, Minister for Human Rights.
The chief executive of Czech energy group CEZ says his company may be forced to pull out of building costly new nuclear reactors at Temelin power plant if the new government says it is not open to providing price guarantees on Temelin power generated by the new units.
The new Czech government’s threat to abandon a tender for the $15bn project would leave CEZ AS and the bidders to build the nuclear reactors with large losses.
A Russian-Czech group led by Rosatom has invested heavily in the tender for two new reactors at the Temelin announced in 2009, while rival bidder Westinghouse Electric LLC also said it’s incurred “very significant costs”.
The Czech Republic’s ambition to secure its future energy independence with a $15 billion nuclear expansion will be thwarted unless the state guarantees a price for the power, the country’s largest electricity producer said.
“We won’t build without state guarantees,” Pavel Cyrani, chief of strategy at Prague-based CEZ AS, said in an interview in the city. “It’s simply impossible.”
CEZ, like other power producers in Europe, has seen profit margins squeezed after economic stagnation cut demand, dragging down prices. The utility has delayed choosing a supplier of two new reactors for its Temelin plant pending assurances from the government that the project will make money. The state, CEZ’s main shareholder, is counting on the expansion to counter a loss in capacity as ageing plants are retired over the next 15 years.
PRAGUE, Sept 25 (Reuters) - CEZ is taking a wait-and-see approach to new investment as low power prices pressure energy companies and will scale back renewable plans due to an uncertain regulatory landscape, the Czech utility's chief strategy officer said.
Pavel Cyrani, also a CEZ board member, told the Reuters Eastern Europe Investment summit on Wednesday that a cautious approach was necessary to allow central Europe's biggest utility to remain healthy in current tough market conditions.
A project costed in billions of euros to expand a Czech nuclear plant has been undermined by the effects on energy prices of the shale gas revolution in North America, and is splitting the government.
Several politicians are echoing experts who say that the tender process for the huge contract should be delayed or abandoned.
Flanked by Germany, which is phasing out nuclear power, and Austria, which has already done so, the Czech Republic is pinning its future on atomic energy.
The ex-communist republic of 10.5 million people, which now relies on nuclear for about 30 percent of its energy mix, is pushing an upgrade of its disputed Temelin plant and betting on getting at least half of its energy from the atom by 2025.
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.
In a shock announcement, Czech power company CEZ on Friday excluded France’s Areva from its multi-billion-euro tender to expand the Temelin nuclear power plant for failing to fulfill all the requirements, leaving Toshiba’s US unit Westinghouse and a consortium led by Russia’s Atomstroyexport as the two remaining bidders.