CEZ’s M&A director Vladimir Schmaltz told in the interview for Reuters that CEZ is looking for a local partner in Turkey as it may enter the market via tender to build two 1,200 MW coal-power units in Asfin-Elbistan and right to operate the plants for 30 years. Turkish officials expect costs for this project at USD 4-5bn. Deadline for the expressing interest is 23 January 2007. Apart from that CEZ will further study Russia as new opportunities are emerging there. Regarding Ukraine he expects talks to buy six power distributors from VS Energy to be concluded by year end. Besides Ukrainian government has approved a list of assets to be privatized, including some energy assets which could be interesting for CEZ, however no specification has been given. Polish market is still the main target where CEZ is currently considering at the JV project with Poland’s PKE of building new unit of up to 440MW at Halemba power plant. Bids in this tender are expected by 29 December.
CEZ is constantly following its target to become leader in power markets in CEE&SEE region. We remind that CEZ can finance foreign acquisitions in the next 3-5 years from free cash flow up to EUR 6bn. The information about entering Turkish market is mentioned for the first time, although it is only in the consideration phase we could expect that Turkish economic growth will lead to higher per capita consumption which now stands at c1,992.5 kWh compared to the Czech Republic of 5,520 kWh. Other projects are not new for the markets, therefore we would rate them in general as neutral and wait until CEZ wins or conclude some of potential deals in the pipeline.