EU to Investigate Construction of New Nuclear Plant in Czechia

The European Commission has launched an in-depth investigation into whether public support for a new nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic is in line with EU state aid rules.

Nuclear power plant at Dukovany, Czechia. Credit: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

The European Commission has launched an in-depth investigation into whether public support for a new nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic is in line with EU state aid rules.

In March 2022, the Czech Republic notified the Commission of its plan to support the construction and operation of a new nuclear power plant in Dukovany, which will have a capacity of up to 1,200MW. Elektrárna Dukovany II (EDU II) has been set up to develop the project. The entity is owned by the ČEZ Group, the main incumbent in Czechia. Since the Czech Government holds close to 70% of its shares, it will receive the financing from the European Commission.

The plant – scheduled to start operating in 2036 – is expected to boost the security of the Czech Republic’s energy supply and its neighbouring countries, while also diversifying their energy mix.

The Czech Republic government intends to support the project through three measures – a low-interest, repayable state loan expected to cover 100% of the construction costs of around €7.5 billion, a power purchase agreement (PPA) between EDU II and a state-owned company for the lifetime of the project, i.e. 60 years, and a mechanism to protect the ČEZ Group and the state in case certain unforeseen events occur.

The ČEZ Group’s contribution to the project will be approximately €180 million.

The Commission stated: “The Commission will now investigate further to determine whether its initial concerns are confirmed. The opening of an in-depth inquiry also gives Czechia and interested third parties an opportunity to submit comments. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.”

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