* CEZ says three bidders for nuclear tender
* Project seen completed in 15 years
By Jan Korselt
(adds details, background, byline)
PRAGUE, Nov 3 Three companies have placed
preliminary bids to build upto five nuclear reactors for Czech
power firm CEZ CEZPsp.PR, CEZ said on Tuesday, in what is
expected to be the country's biggest-ever procurement deal.
CEZ Chief Executive Martin Roman confirmed that Russia's
Atomstroyexport, the Westinghouse Electric unit of Toshiba Corp
(6502.T) and France's Areva CEPFi.PA CEPFi.PA were the only
"We can confirm that no one else has bid apart from firms
that declared they would bid," Roman said.
CEZ is expected to receive final bids toward the end of 2010
with a decision in late 2011 for the deal, which analysts say
may be worth around 500 billion crowns ($27.93 billion).
In August, CEZ launched a tender for the construction of two
nuclear reactor units at its Temelin power plant with an option
to order upto three more nuclear units.
Analysts expect CEZ to build one of those blocks at its
nuclear plant in Dukovany in the eastern part of the country and
the other two in neighboring Slovakia's Jaslovske Bohunice power
But some politicians have warned that awarding a deal to
Atomstroyexport pose an energy security risk for the former
communist bloc nation.
In central, eastern, and southeastern Europe, a number of
countries are eyeing plans to build new reactors or to extend
the lives of existing ones to meet growing demand and replace
ageing power capacity.
CEZ has predicted the new units would be built in about 15
years, following an administrative process lasting about seven
to eight years.
CEZ already runs two units at Temelin with combined capacity
of 2,000 megawatts, along with four 440-500 megawatt units at
the Dukovany nuclear plant in the east of the country.
The power group produced 26.6 terrawatt hours of nuclear
power in 2008, while its coal plants produced 35.9 TWh of its
total 64 TWh output that year.
(Reporting by Jan Korselt, writing by Jan Lopatka and Michael
Kahn, Editing by David Cowell)