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Slovnaft, ČEZ are interested in SE

CZECH electricity company ČEZ and the Slovak refinery Slovnaft have expressed unbinding interest in buying the majority stake the Italian energy company Enel holds in Slovenské Elektrárne (SE). The Slovak government, which holds the minority stake in SE, has not submitted any bids yet, while it agreed with the Enel management on measures that would help to complete the SE’s nuclear power station in Mochovce, the TASR wewswire wrote.

CZECH electricity company ČEZ and the Slovak refinery Slovnaft have expressed unbinding interest in buying the majority stake the Italian energy company Enel holds in Slovenské Elektrárne (SE). The Slovak government, which holds the minority stake in SE, has not submitted any bids yet, while it agreed with the Enel management on measures that would help to complete the SE’s nuclear power station in Mochovce, the TASR wewswire wrote.

ČEZ informed on November 19 that it has sent a letter to Enel expressing interest in buying its 66 percent stake in SE. But in line with earlier indications, the Czech state-owned utility highlighted concerns related to the construction of the over-budget and delayed Mochovce nuclear power plant, Reuters wrote. ČEZ has previously said it was unwilling to take on the risk of rising costs and delays of the project.

On November 20 another company, the Bratislava-based refinery Slovnaft, member of MOL group, expressed interest in the SE stake. Slovnaft has submitted a non-binding bid for the purchase of the stake together with the company MVM Group.

“The submitted bid corresponds with Slovnaft’s long-term strategy to preserve and continue strengthening its strategic position on the regional energy market by diversifying its portfolio,” spokesman for Slovnaft Anton Molnár said, as cited by the SITA newswire.

The companies see significant potential in the operation and development of nuclear and hydropower facilities of SE, with the goal to generate electricity for regional markets without emissions.

Earlier during November Enel indicated that it has received three unbinding offers for its 66-percent stake in SE without identification of the bidders while it expects that further bids could still arrive. Media speculate that the offers might have also arrived from Czech energy companies Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) or the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

In the meantime, the approval process of the new budget for completion of the second two blocks of Mochovce continues.

Slovak Economy Minister Pavol Pavlis informed on November 20 that they have agreed with the Enel management on 14 measures that should help to complete the construction of Mochovce.

“We agreed upon all measures that will lead to inclusion of the Slovak side, which has rich experiences with construction, operation or decommissioning of nuclear power stations into the whole process of completion,” Pavlis said as cited by TASR.

The third block should be put into operation in November 2016, and the fourth one year later. The so-far approved budget for completion of Mochovce is €3.8 billion, while SE is asking for an alleged €800-million hike in the budget. Since the state holds a 34 percent stake in SE, SE needs to get approval from the it as well.

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