Five investors bid for power producer

PRELIMINARY offers for what will be at least a 49 percent stake in the Slovak power utility Slovenské elektrárne (SE) were submitted by five out of eight potential investors by the deadline of December 5, said Economy Minister Pavol Rusko, according to the state-run TASR news wire.

Only the Czech power producer CEZ has officially confirmed the delivery of a letter of intent to the Slovak Economy Ministry so far. The Czech company and Russian RAO UES are allegedly the only two bidders that confirmed their interest in buying SE as a whole, including its nuclear power utilities.

Besides CEZ and RAO UES, the eight companies that applied in the tender for SE by the end of November include AES (US), Verbund (Austria), E.ON (Germany), Enel (Italy), Electrabel (Belgium), and International Power (UK), according to reliable sources.

Two Slovak companies, SAVAS and mining company Hornonitrianske Bane, which also applied last month, were excluded from the tender. Their offers were officially turned down due to the companies' lack of experience in the energy sector and doubts as to whether they could finance their projects.

SE produces almost 85 percent of the electricity consumed in Slovakia, using nuclear, thermal, and hydroelectric plants.

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