Mini Cold War over Temelin deal: 2012 in Czech business

Aktualne.cz
28. 12. 2012 10:13
USA's Westinghouse and Russia's Rosatom compete over deal to expand Temelin nuclear station
Temelin nuclear power station
Temelin nuclear power station | Foto: Ludvík Hradilek

Prague - Without doubt, the most important topic in the Czech economy and business in 2012 was the ongoing tender to build the third and fourth reactors at the Temelin nuclear plant. The contract is estimated to be worth up to CZK 200 billion (EUR 8 billion) and has a significant geopolitical importance.

At the start of 2012, there were three bidders for the deal: US company Westinghouse, Russia's Rosatom, and France's Areva

Areva was widely considered an outsider, but the company produced significant effort to secure the deal, stressing the European Union dimension of its bid. 

Nonetheless, this did not prevent the company from being excluded from the tender in October.

CEZ excludes Areva from Temelin expansion tender

The tender is now a competition between a US company and the Russian state nuclear agency, which also reflects a broader geopolitical dilemma of Czech foreign policy. While Westinghouse claims that its bid will ease the country's energy dependency on Russia's oil and gas and contribute to its energy security, Rosatom is promising to massively subcontract Czech companies.

Czech energy giant CEZ, the Temelin power station's operator, also started to look for buyers for some of its power stations this year. Next year, this process is expected to produce a "small revolution" in the Czech energy sector.

Expert: 2013 will bring "revolution" in energy market

Skoda's Rapid model
Skoda's Rapid model | Foto: Radek Pecák

Good year for car industry

This year was a good one for Skoda Auto, a Czech carmaker that is considered to be the motor of the Czech economy.

In March, the company reported record sales, revenues, and profits for 2011.

The carmaker, which is a subsidiary of Germany's Volkswagen Group, also introduced a new family-oriented model, Rapid, hoping it will become its second best-selling car.

Czech scientist's contribution to anti-HIV pill

There were also some notable developments related to the Czech Republic's IT,  technology and science sectors.

AVG Technologies, a Czech Brno-based antivirus company, started to be traded on Wall Street in February.

Czech-born Robert Kyncl, Google's vice president for the global reach of YouTube, announced a project whose aim is to turn YouTube into a full fledged television channel with a global reach.

Youtube's Czech manager to start TV revolution

The US Food and Drug Administration approved Truvada, an anti-HIV pill, also for prevention of the disease. The drug is produced by pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences that used the outcome of the research conducted by Czech scientist Antonin Holy, who died later this year.

Czech scientist contributed to anti-HIV drug Truvada

The headquarters of the EU's satellite navigation system Galileo transferred to the Czech capital.

Two of Asian flag carriers, Qatar Airways and Korean Air, expressed binding interest in buying Czech Airlines (CSA).

Kalousek welcomes Qatari and Korean bids to buy CSA

The Czech economy mostly struggled in 2012. In the first three quarters of this year, Czech GDP decreased by 0.9 percent compared to the same period of 2011.

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Zdroj: ČTK
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