Prague - Czech energy group CEZ today cancelled the tender for the construction of two blocks at the nuclear power plant Temelin and communicated its decision to the bidders, CEZ spokesman Ladislav Kriz told CTK.
CEZ spoke to the government of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) before making the decision, said Kriz.
The government had earlier refused to provide state guarantees.
CEZ CEO Daniel Benes said that since 2009, when the tender was declared, to the present time the energy sector in Europe has passed through a turbulent development.
"Originally, the project was fully viable economically given the market price of electricity and other factors, while nowadays all investments in power sources whose revenue depends on electricity sales on the free market are being put at risk," said Benes.
CEZ´s decision, however, does not mean an end to the building of nuclear reactors in the country, according to Benes.
"There´s still the risk that within 20 years we will not be able to cover energy consumption in our country," Benes said.
"We only need to adapt our plans to changes being prepared in Brussels. Obviously a close cooperation with the state will be necessary to ensure further development of nuclear energy in the future," said Benes.
Benes said earlier that he cannot imagine that CEZ will build two nuclear reactors at Temelin without any support from the state. One option was the state-guaranteed purchasing price of electricity.
The cabinet, however, said it wants to support nuclear energy development in the Czech Republic but will not provide any guarantees.
CEZ´s decision sent its shares higher on the Prague Stock Exchange. They grew 2 percent in 15 minutes. The current price is Kc556 per share.
The US-Japanese company Westinghouse and the Czech-Russian Consortium MIR.1200 were bidding for Temelin´s completion. Another investor, Areva of France, was removed from the tender process. CEZ said its bid had serious shortcomings.
Two new units were to double Temelin´s 2,000 megawatts capacity. The project worth several hundred billion crowns was to be completed in 2025. The new reactors were to be in operation for 60 years.