French, US energy groups to build nuclear plants

20th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 20, 2007 (AFP) - French state-controlled energy giant EDF said Friday it had agreed to create a joint venture with US peer Constellation Energy to operate new nuclear power plants in the United States.

PARIS, July 20, 2007 (AFP) - French state-controlled energy giant EDF said Friday it had agreed to create a joint venture with US peer Constellation Energy to operate new nuclear power plants in the United States.

The companies are to form a jointly-owned nuclear holding company into which EDF will invest a maximum 625 million dollars (865 million euros), while Constellation will contribute assets from its UniStar Nuclear business.

Constellation has also agreed to upgrade four of its existing US nuclear power stations with next-generation European atomic energy technology.

The joint company, with a 50:50 partnership, will have a board of eight executives with an equal number named by EDF and Constellation.

Pierre Gadonneix, chairman and chief executive of EDF Group, said: "We are extremely pleased to partner with Constellation Energy, one of America's pre-eminent nuclear operators.

"This agreement confirms EDF's interest in the US nuclear power renaissance."

Under the terms of the agreement, EDF said it might buy up to 9.9 percent of outstanding shares in Constellation Energy, with 5.0 percent in the first year of the agreement.

The new nuclear power stations developed in the United States by the groups will use EPR technology, which stands for European Pressurised Reactor, that has been developed by French state-owned nuclear engineering group Areva.

EDF operates 58 nuclear power stations in France, which is the country with the highest reliance on nuclear energy for its electricity supply in the world.

Mayo Shattuck, chairman and chief executive of Constellation Energy, said the group was making "progress toward the goal of constructing the first fleet of new nuclear power plants in the United States in nearly three decades."


Copryight AFP

Subject: French news

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