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Prague (AFP) Oct 05, 2012
Czech state-run power company CEZ said Friday it had ruled France's Areva out of a tender to build two new units at its Temelin nuclear power facility in southern Czech Republic.
Areva "failed to meet legal requirements to build the two units... and other defined criteria," CEZ spokesman Ladislav Kriz said in a statement.
"CEZ has precisely and in detail specified the reasons of Areva's elimination" to the company, he added, saying the reasons were both commercial and legal.
Areva said it would appeal the decision that leaves groups led by US giant Westinghouse and Russia's Atomstroiexport in the bidding for the contract worth an estimated 200-300 billion koruna (8-12 billion euros, $10.5-15.7 billion).
"Areva will file an objection against this decision according to the rules stipulated in the conditions of the tender," the French state-owned company said in a statement.
"Areva firmly believes we have met all the tender criteriaand we look forward to addressing the issues raised by CEZ."
"We are confident our offer to CEZ is the most competitive one and our commitment to the Temelin completion project remains absolute," said Areva.
With bids placed in July this year, the winner of the tender is to be announced at the end of 2013. The two units are due to be completed by 2025.
The extra capacity will raise the share of nuclear energy in the Czech energy mix to about 50 percent from the current 30 percent produced by Temelin and another CEZ-operated nuclear plant in the southern village of Dukovany.
Temelin, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Prague, but only about 60 kilometres from the Austrian border, has been heavily criticised by Vienna which has repeatedly raised safety concerns.
It may also become a thorn in the side of Germany, which has vowed to shut down its nuclear reactors by 2022.
The Czech government, which owns two-thirds of CEZ, is betting on nuclear power as its communist-era coal-fired plants are likely facing closure amid tighter regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.
Planned in the communist era and launched in 2000, the existing Temelin facility includes two Russian-type VVER pressurised-water reactors, each with an output of 1,000 megawatts.
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