France-China to sign deal for nuclear reactors

26th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 26, 2007 (AFP) - France and China will sign an agreement in Beijing next Tuesday for the construction in China of two third-generation EPR nuclear reactors by French group Areva, informed sources said on Thursday.

PARIS, July 26, 2007 (AFP) - France and China will sign an agreement in Beijing next Tuesday for the construction in China of two third-generation EPR nuclear reactors by French group Areva, informed sources said on Thursday.

The sources said a "letter of intention" would be signed, but that talks were underway on Thursday to determine whether it would be initialled by the industrial groups or by government representatives.

An informed source said that the document would be signed by French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde to formalise an accord concluded between Areva and its Chinese partner CGNPC (China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp).

Another source said the letter would be signed by the two companies, in the presence of the finance minister.

French electricity utility EDF, which is in the running to operate the reactors, will not sign the letter, but will conclude an accord with the Chinese company later, the sources said.

Areva and EDF declined comment on the report.

The value of the contract is not known, but the cost of the first EPR (European Pressurised water Reactor) built by Areva in Finland was put at some three billion euros.

In early February the two public groups were "in advanced discussions" on the project.

CGNPC, based in the southern province of Guangdong, is the historic partner of Areva and EDF in China. It runs the Daya Bay and Ling Ao power stations in the south, which the French companies helped to construct in the 1980s and 1990s.

Areva lost out to American giant Westinghouse in December for a multi-billion-dollar contract to construct four third-generation reactors in China.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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