Italian electricity utility Enel and French utility EDF have created a 50:50 joint venture called Sviluppo Nucleare Italia Srl (Nuclear Development Italy) aimed at developing feasibility studies for the construction of at least four advanced third generation EPR units. The deal follows an agreement signed between Enel and EDF on 24 February. during the Franco-Italian summit in Rome.

Enel and EDF will hold a 50% stake in the joint venture respectively and the company will be headquartered in Rome, Italy.

Once the studies have been completed and the necessary investment decision taken, individual companies will be instituted to build, own and operate each of the EPR power plant.

Fulvio Conti, CEO and General Manager of Enel commented:” The creation of this joint venture lays the ground for a concrete come back of the nuclear in Italy and represents a unique opportunity for contributing to the recovery of the country’s economy, creating specialized jobs and increasing employment. In the past few years Enel has been able to rebuild the nuclear skills and expertise, thanks to its international operations and we are now ready to take the lead of the Italian nuclear programme in co-operation with EDF, a world key player in this industry.”

Pierre Gadonneix, Chairman and CEO of EDF said:“The creation of this joint venture…bears witness to the successful cooperation which EDF began with ENEL in 2007 in the ongoing construction of the EPR at Flamanville in Normandy. This partnership is in line with EDF’s Group strategy aimed at strengthening its position in Europe and at being the world leader of the revival of nuclear energy.”

The agreement for the creation of the Rome-based company Sviluppo Nucleare Italia Srl sets the two parties’ commitments as well as the corporate governance rules. The joint venture envisages the creation of a board of directors composed by eight members, four of which will be appointed by EDF, including the chairman and the vice-chairman, whereas the remaining four, including the CEO, will be nominated by Enel.

The creation of Sviluppo Nucleare Italia follows the overturning of Italy’s ban on civil nuclear plants since 1987.