Prague - The Czech government will not guarantee purchasing prices of electricity in connection with the completion of nuclear power plant Temelin, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats) said during a question time in parliament today.
According to the daily Hospodarske noviny, energy group CEZ CEO Daniel Benes said earlier that CEZ would not sign a contract for Temelin´s completion unless the guaranteed purchasing price of electricity or another scheme was agreed with the state.
In today´s issue of the daily Lidove noviny, Benes denied that price guarantees were a condition for Temelin´s completion.
"The new government is not willing to provide guarantees for purchasing prices of electricity that could be a big financial burden for households and firms in the next decades ...," said Sobotka.
The new cabinet has to consider if its stance on the extension of the south Bohemian plant will be identical with that of the previous government with whose consent CEZ launched the tender process, said Sobotka.
The cabinet will be taking into account debates in the European Commission on the climate package and revision of the Czech energy policy that will undoubtedly recommend conditions for possible finalisation of the Temelin tender, Sobotka said.
Benes told the weekly Ekonom, out early in January, that a contract with the winner of the tender might be signed in the second quarter of 2015. This year the firm expects to hold talks with the bidders.
"... I cannot imagine that we would sign a fully effective contract on the extension of Temelin before getting a contract for difference or other business scheme," said Benes.
Under the contract for difference, fixed purchasing prices of electricity would be ensured for a certain period of the operation of new units at Temelin. If market prices were lower CEZ would get money from the state and if they were higher the difference between the market and the agreed price would be paid by CEZ to the state budget.
The firms that remained in the Kc200-300bn tender for the construction of units three and four at Temelin are the US-Japanese consortium Westinghouse and the Czech-Russian Consortium MIR.1200.
France´s Areva was the third firm that expressed interest in the project but CEZ disqualified it from the battle over serious shortcomings in the submitted offer. Details were not disclosed.
Last October the Regional Court in Brno issued an injunction on Areva´s request under which CEZ cannot sign a contract with the winner of the tender. Areva´s removal and the tender process are being investigated by the European Commission.