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CEZ Wants Slovenske Elektrarne Minus Two Nuclear Reactors and Gabcikovo

Czech energy company CEZ on Wednesday submitted a binding bid in a tender for 66 % of Slovakia's dominant power producer Slovenske elektrarne (SE), CEZ spokesman Ladislav Kriz told Interfax.

CEZ’s bid for SE does not cover the A1 and V1 reactors of SE’s Bohunice nuclear power station or its Gabcikovo hydroelectric plant. The CEZ bid does, however, include Bohunice’s V2 reactor and all of SE’s Mochovce nuclear power plant. Bohunice’s A1 reactor was closed last year and the V1 unit is to be phased out between 2006 and 2008. Originally, CEZ indicated that it was interested in all of SE’s units.

CEZ’s bid does include draft contracts on the operation of the V1 reactor and Gabcikovo, according to Kriz.

The price offered by CEZ was not disclosed.

According to CEZ, the bid is advantageous for the Slovak government due to the fact that “the Czech and Slovak electricity sectors were connected dozens of years” and also because CEZ’s nuclear facilities are very similar to those of SE.

The other bidders for SE include Italy’s Enel and Russia's RAO-UES and RosEnergoAtom. Austria's Verbund has expressed interest only in the non-nuclear part of the company. The Slovak government, however, has said it would prefer to sell SE as a whole.

SE operates three nuclear, two thermal, and several hydroelectric power plants. It accounts for over 80 % of Slovakia's electricity output. Last year, SE netted SKK 1.31 bn, compared to SKK 234.91 mln a year earlier.

(Interfax 30.vii.04)

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