Czech power utility CEZ has reasserted its interest in buying the Varna thermal power station in Bulgaria, which is in the process of being sold off by the country's government.

CEZ appeared to have lost out in the bidding war for the Varna station to Russia’s RAO EES. RAO offered a total of just over E389 million to buy the site, thereby outbidding CEZ with its offer of E192 million.

However RAO EES has surprisingly withdrawn its tender a matter of hours before the government’s privatization agency was set to draft an initial contract, according to reports in Sofia. CEZ, as the second ranked bidder, has now reaffirmed its interest in buying Varna, although the government may yet opt to relaunch the tender process entirely.

CEZ already owns a 67% stake in three Bulgarian electricity companies.