PRAGUE -- Citibank will lend the Czech power company CEZ some $400 million to complete the Temelin nuclear power station in southern Bohemia, said the Prague director of Citibank Karel Swoboda.
The money will finance U.S. Westinghouse Electric Corp's. upgrade of a four-reactor Soviet nuclear design begun in 1986 but never completed. The Czech government awarded the contract to Westinghouse in May.
"The energy derived from this plant will permit them to deemphasize somewhat the coal-fired plants," Mr. Swoboda said.
A U.S. government official close to the project has said that the U.S. Export-Import Bank will guarantee 85% of the loan, or about $340 million.
Mr. Swoboda said the agency is involved in underwriting the loan in concert with the Czech government "and other European institutions."
"For us, this is a major financing," he said. "It is a package to be done in cooperation with Citibank Prague, Citibank London, and Citibank U.S."