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Norsk Hydro to become InterRAO partner in SE privatisation

NORWEGIAN energy company Norsk Hydro is likely to become a financial partner in an international consortium led by the Russian company InterRAO if it wins a tender for a 66 percent share of the Slovak power utility Slovenské Elektrárne (SE), news wire TASR wrote.

According to InterRAO representatives in Slovakia, there are also other possibilities for co-operation with the Norwegian enterprise. One of them is that Norsk Hydro will become a long-term consumer of electricity generated by the state-run SE.

The state-controlled Russian investor, also known as RAO USE International, is one of four bidders for the 66-percent stake in SE.

As is the case with the Czech energy company CEZ and Italian Enel, InterRAO confirmed its interest in SE in a binding offer to the Slovak Cabinet. It specified that it was interested in acquiring all of SE, including its nuclear division.

In addition to the three aforementioned companies, Verbund (Austria) also bid for the stake in SE. But its offer is not likely to be evaluated in the first round of the tender, as it has already said that it has no intention to buy SE along with its nuclear sources.

E.ON Energie (Germany) has also declared its interest in joining the InterRAO-led consortium, which features another German company - OstElektra.

"As soon as the InterRAO is selected as a preferred bidder we intend to start discussions," reads a statement by E.ON Energie published on August 3.

Another potential member of the consortium is said to be the French nuclear plant designer Framatome.

InterRAO is a joint venture of two Russian state-owned companies, RAO UES Russia and Rosenergoatom, which hold stakes of 60 and 40 percent respectively.

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