European utilities GDF Suez and E.ON have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore possible new nuclear opportunities in Italy. Both parties say they strongly favour cooperation with local utilities and large Italian electricity consumers.

Under the MoU, the firms will examine the key issues related to investment in a new nuclear power plant such as technology, locations and industrial partnerships. They will also engage with national and local authorities in an effort to promote a stable and clear regulatory environment.

“The Memorandum of Understanding between E.ON and GDF Suez is a first step of our cooperation to deliver an early, substantial and vital contribution for the re-entry of nuclear power in Italy,” says Stéphane Brimont, president and CEO of GDF Suez Energy Europe.

“To move forward we need the completion of the well advanced regulatory framework, a strong industrial partnership open to Italian and other European partners and a competitive process to access to suitable nuclear sites.”

Chief executive officer of E.ON in Italy Klaus Schäfer outlined the potential for further cooperation between E.ON and GDF Suez. “If the conditions in the Italian market continue to develop in the desired direction, our cooperation with GDF Suez might contribute to the constitution of a further consortium in the future,” he said.

Together E.ON and GDF Suez have stakes in 30 nuclear power stations in Germany, Belgium, France and Sweden. E.ON runs nine (Brokdorf, Grafenrheinfeld, Grohnde, Isar 1&2 and Unterweser in Germany; and Sweden’s Oskarshamn 1-3) while GDF Suez operates the seven reactors in Belgium.

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