Both EDF and KHNP have submitted their bids for the construction of up to four nuclear units

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2024-05-02   09:54

EDF and KHNP have submitted their binding bids for the construction of up to four nuclear reactors in the Czech Republic. Representatives of France's EDF brought the documents to CEZ headquarters on Tuesday morning this week, while representatives of Korea's KHNP submitted their bid on Monday. The details of the bids will not be public for some time, but ČEZ will analyze them now. The winner of the tender and how many nuclear units will be built in the Czech Republic in the future should be decided by summer. The first of them should be built in 2036.

The government invited EDF and KHNP to submit binding bids for the construction of more reactors at the end of January this year. The decision came after an analysis of the first bids for the construction of one reactor at Dukovany, which included non-binding options for additional units. According to Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS), the non-binding bids of bidders for the construction of more reactors were up to 25 percent more profitable than the construction of only one unit. He did not specify the prices offered. On the other hand, the North American company Westinghouse dropped out of the three bidders for the nuclear tender because, according to the cabinet, it did not meet the conditions of the original tender.

"We will now evaluate the bids and, according to the contract with the state, we will submit the evaluation report to the Ministry of Industry and Trade and, consequently, to the Czech government for final approval," said Tomáš Pleskač, member of the board of directors and director of CEZ's new energy division. CEZ expects that the contracts with the winner will be finalized during this year and ready for signing by the end of March next year.

The bidders submitted their bids electronically, using special encryption and a uniquely secure storage system. ČEZ will focus on technical and economic parameters or guarantees when evaluating bids, according to spokesman Ladislav Kříž. "We convert all the criteria into financial terms, from which the final ranking will then come out," he described. There will be around 280 people in the working group that will evaluate the bids. According to Kříž, this includes mainly representatives of ČEZ, as well as outsiders from law firms and representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. CEZ will make a recommendation to the government after evaluating the bids, and the government will make the final decision on the winner.

KHNP was the first to submit its bid and handed over the materials at the CEZ headquarters on Monday morning. In it, the Korean firm offered its 1,050 MWe APR1000 reactor, which it said meets all European standards and was designed specifically for export to Europe. "With its successful projects in Korea and the United Arab Emirates, KHNP has proven that it builds with quality, on time and at the right price," said KHNP CEO Chu Ho-wang.

EDF based its bid on the EPR 1200 unit technology. "The technological and industrial alignment between Paris and Prague that we are proposing has the potential to rebuild Europe's new nuclear industry for generations to come," said EDF chief Luc Rémont. He said the collaboration could act as a model for the pan-European nuclear industry in the future. One of the advantages of the offer, the French said, would be joint action by states at EU level.

Both companies also declared their interest in cooperation with the Czech industry. In this context, EDF has identified around 300 potential suppliers, with some of whom it has concluded preliminary non-binding agreements. KHNP announced over 200 identified partners, with whom it signed around 50 non-binding memorandums of cooperation. Companies are also establishing cooperation with domestic universities or scientific institutions.

The new reactor project is expected to be the Czech Republic's largest investment in modern history; according to earlier statements by the government and CEZ, one new reactor is expected to cost about CZK 160 billion in 2020 prices. Government representatives declined to comment on the prices offered in the initial bids. Some economists estimated in January that the construction of four reactors could cost up to CZK 2 trillion.

The Czech Republic currently has six nuclear units in two power plants. Two units, each with a capacity of about 1,000 megawatts (MW), are at Temelin in South Bohemia. Four smaller units with a capacity of 510 MW are at Dukovany in the Trebic region. In addition to new conventional reactors, CEZ is also preparing to build small modular reactors. The first of them should be built in Temelín.

Source: CTK

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