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PRAGUE, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Czech power group CEZ has disqualified Areva from a multibillion-dollar tender to expand the Temelin nuclear power plant because the French company failed to meet certain requirements for the project, CEZ said on Friday.
CEZ, central Europe's largest company by market value and its biggest utility, aims to build two new units at the 2,000 megawatt plant in Temelin, a village near the Austrian border. The tender is worth about $10 billion.
The decision to disqualify Areva, which state-controlled CEZ said Areva could appeal, now leaves Toshiba's Westinghouse and Russia's Atomstroyexport as the only bidders.
"CEZ has today informed Areva that their bid failed to meet statutory requirements for building two new units of the Temelin nuclear power plant," CEZ said in a statement.
"Moreover, Areva has not fulfilled some other crucial criteria defined in the tender."
CEZ said that the criteria were both commercial and legislative, but it would not give details until after the appeal process has finished. An Areva spokeswoman could not comment immediately on CEZ's decision.
The Czechs' nuclear push has stirred opposition in Austria, the border of which lies 68km from the Temelin plant. There has also been opposition from Germany, which announced a retreat from nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
Opponents cite Fukushima as evidence that nuclear power is unsafe, while the Czech Republic views nuclear as a key plank in ensuring future energy security for the former Soviet nation, which receives most of its gas and oil supplies from Russia.
(Reporting by Jason Hovet and Michael Kahn; Additional Reporting by Michel Rose in Paris; Writing by Michael Kahn, Editing by David Goodman)
Keywords: CEZ TEMELIN/