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Russia ready to continue consultations over tender for NPP construction in Czech Republic

March 26, 2013, 19:55 UTC+3

Russia hope to win in a fair and open contest

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MOSCOW, March 26 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom hopes for a transparent tender for the construction of two power units for the Temelin NPP in the Czech Republic and is ready for further consultations.

“We hope for the transparent decision of the CEZ company [which is in charge of the tender] and consider the company’s rating as an invitation for further negotiations,” a Rosatom official told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

The Czech company CEZ compiled a rating, which may be considered as a preliminary estimate of the bids put out to the tender. Taking part in the tender are the Russian-Czech MIR1200 consortium and the U.S.-Japanese Westinghouse company. The rating foregoes the CEZ’s consultations with bidders, upon results of which the participants in the tender should finalise their proposals. The winner in the tender will be chosen upon the results of final proposals, as it is expected, in September 2013.

“Under the preliminary estimate, the proposal of the Russian-Czech consortium was recognised as the best under three out of four criteria,” said an official at the Skoda JS company, affiliated in the Russian-Czech consortium. Among those criteria are the best price, the best working conditions of the future NPP (electricity consumer price will be 6-percent cheaper than in other projects), as well as the best possibilities envisaged by such item as “implementation of articles and terms of the contract.”

However, Russian and Czech specialists are surprised by the fact, that the rating does not include such a key factor for the Czech Republic’s industry as “localisation.” So, the Skoda JS official emphasised that the Russian-Czech project envisages an unprecedentedly high level of localisation at 70 percent, which means that it may become the optimum alternative for the Temelin NPP enlargement. The latter fact can give a fresh impetus to the stepping up of the Czech industry, employment growth, economic development and achievement of the Republic’s energy independent in the future, the official added.

The Russian-Czech consortium is based on the use of the water cooled, water moderated VVER reactors. Now, 54 reactors of the kind are operating across the world, including 18 – in the countries of the European Union. Another 28 VVER reactors are now shut down, including 19 of them abroad Russia. The competitors of the consortium built their last reactors more than 30 years ago. Besides, the AP-1000 project put for the tender by Westinghouse was not implemented anywhere and even has no the European licence.

“We have questions to the criterion ‘Licensing, implementation and technical risks’,” Finam Management Leading Experts Dmitry Baranov told Itar-Tass, adding, “In contrast to the AP-1000 project, which was nowhere implemented, did not pass through the full-scale licensing formalities and assessment of technical risks, the reactors of the VVER-1000 type, the upgraded version of which is proposed for the Temelin NPP project, successfully passed through the whole range of appropriate formalities and operate at the same NPP already many years.”

Besides, the Russian expert voiced concern over results of the rating, stressing that the joint project of Russia and the Czech Republic meets bigger number of the impersonal criteria.

He is confident, “There is no a final decision on the tender so far. And this may be considered as an invitation to further dialog between the bidder and the contractor.” Baranov believes that the Czech authorities will made a weighty and right decision.

“Russia hope to win in a fair and open contest. The only thing Russia needs is the equal conditions of the tender for all bidders, transparent and clear criteria for the assessment of tender proposals, and fairness at every stage of the tender,” the expert emphasised.

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