Areva, Westinghouse Electric Unit and Russia’s Atomstroyexport have placed preliminary bids to build five nuclear reactors for the Czech power firm, CEZ.

A decision on the deal, which is valued at about US$27.93m (CZK 500bn), will be made in late 2011.

CEZ said it will accept final bids at the end of 2010, according to Reuters.

In August, CEZ launched a tender for the development of two nuclear reactor units at its Temelin power station with an option to order up to three additional nuclear units.

CEZ said the new units would be constructed in roughly 15 years, after the completion of an administrative process that takes about seven to eight years.

CEZ already operates two units at Temelin with a 2,000MW combined capacity, in addition to four 440-500MW units at the Dukovany nuclear plant.

An increasing number of companies across Europe are trying to expand the life span of existing nuclear reactors and construct new ones to substitute ageing power capacity and meet escalating demand.