A payment schedule has been agreed to pay off a large penalty for construction delays with respect to Temelin between power producer CEZ and general supplier Skoda Praha. According to the construction contract, the state-controlled engineering firm, Skoda Praha, is liable to penalties but CEZ has agreed to delay payment to keep the firm solvent. Both parties refused to reveal the amount of the fine but it is believed to be $15.5 million, almost double Skoda Praha’s equity. CEZ holds a 30% stake in Skoda. Skoda Praha will ask for compensation from its sub-contractors, mainly Skoda Energo from the Skoda Plzen group.

Problems with a rotor in one turbine forced the most recent shutdown of the plant. CEZ identified three problems that had arisen during the course of putting the turbine unit into operation: high vibration levels on the steam pipe line connecting the high pressure control valves and the high pressure turbine; vibrations of the regulation oil tube; and rotating vibration of the turbine rotor. Since initial grid connection last December, Temelin-1 has operated at levels up to 55% of full power. During a two-day period in late March, it supplied up to 430MWe to the grid, before the turbine was disconnected again following further vibration problems.