Czechia blocks China from nuclear project, but China wants in

Minister of Industry Karel Havlíček says that Czechia will not budge on this one

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Seznam Zprávy, Czech News Agency
In this Sept.. 27, 2011, file photo, a man fishes in a scene dominated by the towering Dukovany nuclear power plant in Dukovany, Czech Republic. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

China expects the Czech Republic to reconsider its decision to exclude Chinese companies from the competition for the construction of a new unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant.

“We will not change our mind,” responded Karel Havlíček, the Czech Minister of Industry.

On Monday, President Miloš Zeman signed the so-called low-carbon law, which includes safety guarantees excluding companies from Russia and China from the tender for the completion of the Dukovany nuclear power plant. On Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry commented on the law for the Russian TASS agency, saying it believes the Czech Republic will reconsider its decision.

“We hope that the Czech side will abide by the principle of fair competition and market economy,” said the ministry’s spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

She added that the Chinese government expects Czechia to introduce measures to guarantee a non-discriminatory and transparent business environment for foreign investors.

The second excluded country, Russia, has not yet commented on the situation.

However, Minister of Industry and Trade, Karel Havlíček has already responded to China’s statement.

“Nothing will be reconsidered. A safety assessment is in progress, and we will start the tender immediately after we evaluate it. Only entities from France, South Korea, and the USA/Canada are in the game,” he wrote in a text message to the Seznam Zprávy news portal.

The bill on the transition of the Czech Republic to low-carbon energy states that only technologies from suppliers from countries that have acceded to the 1996 Agreement on Government Procurement will be used to build the new nuclear power plant unit. Russia and China are not among them, although their companies showed interest in participating in the tender. The government has previously decided to send the so-called security questionnaire only to companies from South Korea, the United States, and France.

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