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CEZ picks Deloitte to advise on coal plant sales
PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech electricity company CEZ CEZPsp.PR has picked Deloitte Advisory to advise it on the divestment of several coal-fired power plants as part of a plan to appease regulators and end long-running coal price disputes, it said on Monday.
CEZ, central Europe's biggest listed company with a market capitalization of $18 billion, said it expected more profit from divesting the plants than if it continued to operate them, but did not give any financial details.
The majority state-owned group is offering for sale its 1,000 megawatt (Mw) Pocerady plant, one of its most profitable, and the 800-megawatt Chvaletice station, which has struggled to remain profitable as it transports fuel over long distances.
It will also look to sell its Tisova plant together with its Melnik 3 station, and the hard coal-burning Detmarovice plant. Each of those options have installed capacity of around 800 Mw.
"The capital freed in this manner will be available for investments in the company's new strategic priorities, such as nuclear energy and renewable source development," CEZ said.
CEZ is tendering to at least double capacity at its 2,000 Mw Temelin nuclear power station in a deal worth up to $10 billion.
The company has already held talks on selling some of its coal power plants to Czech energy groups EPH and Czech Coal, with which it has failed to reach a price agreement on long-term coal deliveries from 2013.
Supplies from Czech Coal are the only viable option for Pocerady and Chvaletice to maintain profitable power generation.
The plant divestments would also enable CEZ to end an investigation by the European Commission into suspected anti-competitive behavior, CEZ said.
"As part of the settlement, CEZ committed to selling one of the aforementioned power stations," it said. "For commercial and strategic reasons, the company might eventually decide to accept offers to buy several coal-fired power plants if the terms and conditions are attractive."
(Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Louise Ireland)
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