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MOL, CEZ receive all regulatory approvals for JV

Hungary’s top oil and gas company MOL and Czech power holding CEZ have received all regulatory approvals for a planned joint venture set up by the two companies, MOL announced in a stock exchange filing on Thursday.

“The MOL/CEZ joint venture has obtained all necessary rulings from relevant antimonopoly authorities,” MOL said. “Positive statements from the European Commission and authorities from Ukraine, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina allow the setup of a JV company.”

MOL and CEZ signed a strategic alliance agreement in December 2007. The joint venture, in which each party will have 50% interest, will focus on investment in gas-fired power generation facilities in Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia.

MOL said earlier that the first major investment is the planned construction of combined-cycle power plants at the refineries of the MOL group in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava and Százhalombatta in Hungary. In each location the installed capacity will be 800MW. The expected investment of the initial projects will be approximately €1.4 billion. The establishment of the joint venture company should be completed during this summer, MOL said. The cooperation agreement signed last December also involved CEZ taking a 7% stake in MOL. (Onet, Poland)