Czech state-controlled utility CEZ could expand its nuclear capacity via a subsidiary, says Prime Minister Babis

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said state-controlled utility CEZ could expand its nuclear capacity via a subsidiary, and reiterated his opposition to splitting the company, Reuters has reported.

Babis’s government postponed a decision on building new nuclear units in May, saying it needed more time to evaluate the impact on its budget and find out European Union views on state aid for such a project.

CEZ operates two nuclear power plants in the EU member country, in Dukovany and Temelin. 

“It is a simple operation. I would take Dukovany, appraise it, put it into a 100-percent subsidiary, run a tender for a supplier, financing and possibly even a joint-venture,” Babis told the Czech Mlada Fronta Dnes daily paper. 

“Let CEZ guarantee that, so that is has good conditions. And to make it even better and more serious, the state can be the second one guaranteeing,” Babis said. 

Besides splitting CEZ, which Babis opposes, and a subsidiary building the new blocs, his government has been working on one more option - that the government could buy a small CEZ unit to build the plants. 

CEZ chief executive Daniel Benes has said that a state-owned part of CEZ would be best placed to build the new nuclear blocs. 

The nuclear project and other matters have been on the back-burner since October, as Czechs did not have a full-fledged government until Thursday when Babis’s second minority government, leaning on far-left Communists, finally got the backing of parliament. 

CEZ has refused to invest into new plants without some form of state support.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today. 

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

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