Friday, 25 April 2014

Russian bid for Temelín more advantageous for Czech firms by now

ČTK |
4 December 2012

Prague, Dec 3 (CTK) - US-Japanese company Westinghouse and Czech-Russian Consortium MIR.1200 offer reactors with similar output for the completion of nuclear power plant Temelin but both technical solutions have their weak spots, State Authority for Nuclear Safety (SUJB) chairwoman Dana Drabova told Czech TV.

Confederation of Industry deputy chairman Stanislav Kazecky also said that both bids counted on high participation of Czech companies.

"The Czech-Russian consortium, however, has thus far offered better possibilities for Czech firms to penetrate third markets," he told CTK.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her visit of Prague Monday to lobby for Westinghouse. She argued that Westinghouse offered more reliable technology and better safety guarantees.

French firm Areva was also vying for the order for Temelin's completion but CEZ eliminated it from the tender for breaking the tender conditions. Areva appealed to antitrust office UOHS, which has ruled that CEZ cannot pick a winner until the UOHS decides on Areva's appeal.

Industry and Trade Minister Martin Kuba earlier said that involvement of Czech companies in Temelin's completion would be one of the important criteria. Kazecky now noted that both bids that stay in the tender counted on Czech firms to have roughly a 70 percent share in the order.

"It seems to me, however, that the Czech-Russian consortium is more active as regards the share of Czech companies. Some companies linked with the consortium already have orders, also others than for Temelin," Kazecky told CTK Monday.

"I have not been informed yet that Westinghouse would invite also Czech firms to some of its foreign projects," he added.

Czech-Russian consortium MIR.1200, comprising Russian firms Atomstroyexport and Gidropress and Czech company Skoda JS, offers two VVER-1200 reactors for Temelin, each with a 1,200 megawatt output.

Westinghouse has proposed its reactors AP1000 with a 1,117 megawatt output. In both cases, they are water pressure reactors of the 3+ generation. Drabova said the offered solutions were meeting high safety standards.

"Westinghouse's project looks very nice but it is not operating anywhere in the world. Two units are being built in China and two in the USA. The concept is so new, with the modular structure and high use of passive elements in the safety systems, that we would really like to see a reference unit in operation," Drabova said Monday.

However, she sees problems also by the Czech-Russian consortium. "The weakness on the Russian side always is to organise the construction and secure sufficient production quality and quality supervision," Drabova told CTK.

The Alliance for Energy Self-Sufficiency Monday criticised both companies vying for the Temelin order. Westinghouse has problems with a reactor under construction in US state Georgia where there is a threat that the timetable will not be met and the total price will be raised, it said.

The price of nuclear power plant Akkuyu that Atomstroyexport will build in Turkey will grow by up to a quarter against the original plan, the alliance added.

CEZ stresses that the winner will be picked in a transparent competition where the decisive criteria will be competitive solution, price, involvement of Czech companies and ability to keep the timetable.

Construction of the third and fourth units for an estimated Kc200bn to Kc300bn is to be completed in 2025 at the latest. The winner is to be chosen at the end of next year.

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