Czech Republic power utility CEZ has signed a joint venture agreement with Javys of Slovakia to build a new nuclear power station at Jaslovské Bohunice, Slovakia.

The two companies announced their intention to develop the power plant in April last year, and the formal joint venture agreement paves the way for work on the project to start. The companies say they will start with a feasibility study, which is likely to take 18 months.

Javys, the Slovakian state-owned nuclear decommissioning company, will hold 51 per cent of the joint venture and CEZ the remaining 49 per cent. Pressurised water reactor technology will be used for the project.

The Bohunice V3 project is an important part of the Slovak government’s plans to boost generating capacity while increasing energy independence. The two units of the Bohunice V1 nuclear power plant were closed in 2006 and 2008 as part of an agreement for Slovakia’s accession into the European Union.

CEZ and Javys say that the project schedule will be specified after completion of the feasibility study in 2010. The feasibility study will investigate the suitability of the proposed plant location, evaluate the suitability of various technologies for the location, funding and economic evaluation.

The partners are expected to share the cost of the project, which could reach EUR6 billion.