The Government of the Czech Republic is reportedly planning to launch a tender to build a new unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant, Reuters reported.

Citing a statement from the Czech Industry Ministry spokesman Vojtech Srnka, the news agency reported that the auction process will be launched next week.

Srnka was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Industry minister Jozef Sikela will issue an order next week for the tender for a new unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant.”

The previous Czech Government is said to have sent security questionnaires to three potential bidders, including the US-based Westinghouse, French utility EDF, and South Korea’s KHNP.

However, questionnaires were not sent to Russian and Chinese companies due to security concerns.

In April 2021, Czech officials decided to drop Russia from the auction process worth at least $6.55bn (€6bn), because of a diplomatic conflict between the two nations due to a blast at a Czech arms depot in 2014.

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By GlobalData

However, Russia denied any kind of involvement in the blast.

Czech state-controlled electricity provider CEZ Group currently operates four units with 510MW each at the Dukovany nuclear facility.

CEZ  noted that units 2, 3, 4 are in operation while unit 1 is in the planned outage.

The tender for the new unit is said to have been called by the government to replace the unit, which is set to retire in the coming decades.

Nuclear power plants are said to account for 40% of the Czech Republic’s energy supply.

Last month, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala reportedly announced that the government would finalise the supplier for the new Dukovany unit by 2024 with construction permits obtained by 2029.

The Czech Government plans to start the new unit by 2036, the report added.