PRAGUE Jan 7 The candidate set to become the
Czech Republic's next industry minister was quoted on Tuesday as
saying he backed a plan to build two new units at the Temelin
nuclear power plant but that he favoured some delay.
The plan of majority-state owned Czech electricity producer
CEZ to build the units at an estimated cost of over
$10 billion has already been clouded by rising safety costs and
a drop in wholesale electricity prices, which could spell big
losses for nuclear power stations.
The plan has also been hit by appeals by France's Areva
, which was excluded from the bidding. Toshiba
unit Westinghouse and a consortium including Russia's
Atomstroyexport remain in the tender.
"The worst result would be if it is not built and we end up
facing some legal battles," Jan Mladek, the incoming centre-left
coalition's candidate for industry minister, was quoted by the
CTK news agency as saying.
"I would be in favour of delaying the construction. A lot
will depend on how the delay is communicated," Mladek said.
CEZ has said the plant should be completed by around 2025.
It has already delayed picking a winner of the tender for the
supplier from 2013 until possibly 2015.
CEZ has also said it will not go ahead with the plan unless
the government devises a scheme that would set a floor for
prices from the new plant, planned at over 2,000 megawatts.
(Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Gareth Jones)