published: 17.02.2014, 15:39 | updated: 17.02.2014 15:41:38
Ceske Budejovice - Czech President Milos Zeman would welcome if France's Areva returned to the tender to extend nuclear power plant Temelin as its inclusion could reduce the price of the contract, Zeman said during his visit of the Jihocesky region today.
Zeman said he would be in favour of a new tender being declared for Temelin's extension.
Areva was excluded from the tender by Temelin's operator CEZ in October 2012. The remaining bidders competing for the contract are US-Japanese company Westinghouse and Czech-Russian Consortium MIR.1200.
"I will support the extension of Temelin as well as a reasonable competitive environment. The inclusion of Areva into the tender would improve the quality and price of the construction of two units of Temelin," Zeman said.
The current tender should end without choosing a winner and should be followed by a new tender, he said.
"If three compete for a contract, you are always certain that you will slash the price by 5 percent compared with the situation when two compete. I think that only a few months would be lost as a result of this (the new tender). Besides, Areva is an important player on the international market," Zeman said.
Areva was excluded from the tender in October 2012 by CEZ which said that the French company had made serious errors in the bid it had submitted. CEZ did not disclose any details about the bid.
"Areva placed a project that did not contain such details as the price and timetable. You really must throw out every such tender participant if they do something like this," Zeman remarked.
Areva initiated proceedings at the end of which the Regional Court in Brno issued an injunction banning CEZ from signing a contract with the possible winner of the tender. The court made the verdict in October last year.
CEZ declared a public tender to extend Temelin in October 2009 while the caretaker government of prime minister Jan Fischer was in power.
Areva's exclusion and circumstances of the tender are also being investigated by the European Commission, overseeing the exercise of competition rules in the EU, as Areva complained to the EC about its exclusion.
In December last year, the Czech side gave the EC part of documents which the commission had asked for. In order to be able to issue a verdict in the matter, the EC wants to know the criteria which the Czech Republic used to eliminate Areva from the tender.
Two new units should more than double the performance of south Bohemian nuclear power plant Temelin which now reaches 2,000 megawatt.
According to the plan, the construction of the units should be finished in 2025. The units should be in operation for 60 years.
According to the original timetable, CEZ was to pick the winner of the tender worth several hundred billion crowns in autumn last year.
But CEZ's chief executive Daniel Benes already said in summer that CEZ would decide about Temelin's extension at the end of 2014 or in 2015.
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