Belgian utility Electrabel is set to follow in the footsteps of the Italian energy giant Enel in collaboration with Electricité de France (EdF) in the planned European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR).

The recent deal between EdF and Enel will see the Italians taking part in development of at least one of the advanced reactors beginning at Flamanville 3 with a 12.5% stake in the 1700MWe project. The EPR will also involve other partners and EdF is understood to have reserved a 37.5% stake in the project for three others while keeping at least 50% for itself.

Other European utilities expressing an interest in the EPR include Electrabel parent company Suez, Spanish Endesa and French electricity trader Poweo. Comments from Suez chairman Gerard Mestrallet at the annual general meeting suggest that Electrabel has been looking very closely at the EPR project. Negotiations are ongoing, though the utilities have cooperated in nuclear projects in the past.

The project is not expected to start before 2007.

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