CEZ's Detmarovice attracts most interest in sale-report
PRAGUE, Sept 3 |
PRAGUE, Sept 3 (Reuters) - CEZ's Detmarovice operation is the most popular of five coal-fired power plants put up for sale by the Czech electricity group, attracting 12 bidders, a weekly magazine reported on Monday.
CEZ said on Friday it expected bids in September and October and would decide by year-end which plants to sell under a programme to meet EU regulatory demands and possibly end a long dispute with a supplier over coal prices.
Magazine Tyden said hard coal-fired Detmarovice was the only plant that can easily secure future fuel supplies, unlike lignite-burning stations that face uncertainties due to commercial disputes and state limits on future mining areas.
Czech investment groups EPH and Penta, and coal miner New World Resources (NWR) were among bidders, Tyden said. French group Veolia Environment unit Dalkia and financial investors, including Morgan Stanley, are also interested, its said.
A spokesman for CEZ, central Europe's largest listed company, declined to comment on the report.
A Penta spokesman was not immediately available for comment. On Friday, a spokesman for NWR's main owner, BXR Mining, declined to comment on reports it was bidding. Dalkia also declined to comment.
EPH spokesman Martin Manak declined to comment on Detmarovice but said the company was monitoring the situation. EPH has already bid for two of the other plants on offer.
The majority state-owned CEZ is also offering for sale its 1,000 megawatt (MW) Pocerady plant, one of its most profitable, and the 800-megawatt Chvaletice station. Its Tisova plant together with the Melnik 3 station is also on offer.
Energy groups Czech Coal and EPH have both said they are bidding for Pocerady and Chvaletice.
Czech Coal, a closely-held owner of mines that supply Pocerady and Chvaletice, have long been locked in price disputes with CEZ, and has also filed competition complains against CEZ with the European Commission.
A sale of Pocerady, dependent on Czech Coal lignite, could help settle the disputes.
The plant divestments would also enable CEZ to end the Commission's investigation into suspected anti-competitive behaviour, CEZ said in July.
The potential sale of the plants would free up capital for investments in nuclear and renewable energy, CEZ has said. The company is tendering to at least double capacity at its 2,000 MW Temelin nuclear power station in a deal worth over $10 billion.
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