Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told reporters in Prague yesterday that the government will provide a loan to ČEZ to cover 70% of the cost of building a new unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant, with the majority state-owned utility funding the remaining 30%. The project cost is estimated to be about EUR6.0 billion (USD6.7 billion), ČEZ CEO Daniel Beneš told the ČTK news agency, following the press conference.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Transport Karel Havlíček said that two of three agreements between the government and ČEZ on construction of a 1200 MW unit will be signed by the end of June.
"One week before the government meeting, I will invite all the chairmen of the political parties that are represented in the Chamber to have the opportunity to get acquainted with the agreements," he said, adding that construction of the unit is a long-term project that would thus not be implemented by the current government.
A tender for the selection of the reactor vendor for a turnkey contract will be announced by the end of this year, with the winner selected by the end of 2022, he said. A decision on whether the state’s investment in the project would be entirely from its own funds or include "foreign resources" would be based on discussions the Czech Republic would have with the European Commission, he said. The cost of the project to Czech ratepayers will be a little as one-tenth of the cost to them from investment in renewables, he said.
Jaroslav Míl, government plenipotentiary for nuclear energy, said Brussels will want to know who will build the unit, what the supply model will be, how the tender will be implemented, how the construction work will be financed and how the electricity from the power plant will be placed on the market.
Beneš confirmed that five companies had expressed interest in building the new unit, which are reported to be China General Nuclear, EDF, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, Rosatom and Westinghouse.
Czech utility ČEZ applied to the State Office for Nuclear Safety on 25 March to construct two new reactors at its Dukovany nuclear power plant. Four VVER-440 units are currently in operation at the site, in Vysočina Region.