November 30, 2012 / 1:55 PM / in 5 years

Poland's Kulczyk to pick builder of new power plant in Q1 2013

SOPOT, Poland, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Kulczyk Investments, controlled by Poland’s wealthiest man Jan Kulczyk, expects to pick a general contractor for its planned power plant in the north of the country in the first quarter of 2013, its chief executive said on Friday.

The project, known as Elektrownia Polnoc, is to consist of two 1,000 megawatt coal-fired blocks. It is scheduled to be completed by 2016-2017 and is expected to cost 12-15 billion zlotys ($3.8-4.8 billion).

In March, Kulczyk Investments said it had shortlisted seven bidders for the project, with major Polish builders Polimex , Mostostal Warszawa and PBG saying they placed bids.

“We are now talking to two, three groups and we will probably select the general contractor in the first quarter,” Dariusz Mioduski told Reuters on the sidelines of a power industry event.

“We are simultaneously working on the financing. We have sent documents to banks and received very positive feedback.”

Industry experts warn, however, that slumping forward power prices are making it difficult for Polish utilities to attract the financing needed to build new generation in the coming years.

The benchmark contract for next-year delivery closed on Thursday at 170.01 zlotys per megawatt hour on the Polish power exchange POLPX, over 20 percent down on the year.

“It is true that the prices of power for this and next year do not look too good. But you have to look at them from a broader perspective. By 2017 they will certainly rise,” Mioduski said.

$1 = 3.1513 Polish zlotys Reporting by Maciej Onoszko; Editing by Mark Potter

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