February 11, 2020 / 1:07 PM / in 5 months

Czech state, CEZ close to deal on new nuclear unit -minister

PRAGUE, Feb 11 (Reuters) - A deal between the Czech government and majority state-owned utility CEZ on a new unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant will be ready to sign in the coming weeks, Industry Minister Karel Havlicek was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Havlicek met with CEZ Chief Executive Daniel Benes at Dukovany on Tuesday and told reporters a construction permit for the new unit would be ready by 2029, CTK news agency reported. He reiterated a supplier should be chosen by the end of 2022.

The Czech government, which owns 70% of the utility, has been locked in discussions with CEZ for years over how to expand nuclear power as the company has sought safeguards for its investment. The two sides are looking to finalise a contract for the first phase of the project.

Reporting by Jason Hovet

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