Czech ČEZ to quit Romania nuclear reactors-report

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Czech power firm ČEZ will quit a joint venture to build two units at Romania's sole nuclear power plant by December and seek other low-risk projects in the region, a company official was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Romania, whose state-owned nuclear power firm already has two 706 megawatt reactors at its plant in Cernavodă, accounting for roughly 18 percent of the country's power, had planned plans to build two more in partnership with six foreign firms.

It holds 51 percent in EnergoNuclear, the joint company that will build the two new units. Alongside ČEZ, its minority stakeholders are Belgium's Electrabel, Italy's Enel, Spain's Iberdrola, a local unit of ArcelorMittal and Germany's RWE.

"The decision to retire (from the project) has already been approved by the ČEZ board," Adrian Borotea, ČEZ Romania's corporate affairs manager was quoted saying by local news agency Mediafax.

The two new units, whose cost has been estimated at roughly 4 billion euros, will generate an additional 1,400 megawatts.

Romania's cash-strapped government has said it plans to lower its stake in the two reactors to a minority one and negotiate new ownership with its partners. It was unclear on Tuesday whether it will seek to replace ČEZ in the venture.

ČEZ has already withdrawn from a plan with Romania to build a 400 megawatt gas-fired power plant citing unforeseen costs.

It recently said it would cut up to 100 billion crowns ($5.2 billion) off previous investment plans over the next five years, partly from investment abroad.

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