EDF sets up new nuclear engineering company

22 May 2017

The EDF Board of Directors on 17 May approved the establishment of Edvance, which brings together EDF and Areva NP engineers. as part of the reconstruction of the French nuclear industry.  Edvance will be in charge of the basic design and implementation (studies, procurement support, assembly and commissioning) for projects involving nuclear islands and control systems for new reactors being built, both in France and worldwide.

EDF will own 80% of the company's capital, and Areva NP 20%. The company is set up independently from EDF's acquisition of exclusive control over New Areva NP, planned for the end of 2017. Areva NP will focus on its core business, which is the nuclear boiler, and will provide the primary circuit, equipment, safety control systems and nuclear instrumentation. It will continue to develop its business on its installed base.

EDF agreed in July 2015 to take a stake of 51-75% in Areva's reactor unit in a government-backed plan to revitalise France's nuclear power industry. The European Commission approved the restructuring of the Areva group in mid-January, ruling that the French government's plan to grant a capital injection of €4.5bn ($5bn) into Areva does not breach European Union state aid rules.

The reactor operations to be sold have been transferred to a subsidiary wholly owned by Areva NP, referred to as 'New Areva NP'. Areva began the process of splitting off its nuclear fuel cycle activities into 'NewCo' in August 2016, combining the Areva Mines, Areva NC, Areva Projects and Areva Business Support companies and their respective subsidiaries.

In January, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited agreed on the main terms of their respective acquisitions of 5% stakes in NewCo for €250 million each. Last week, French nuclear engineering company Assystem made an offer of €125m to Areva and EDF to take a 5% stake in New Areva NP.

EDF Group's Chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy said the creation of Edvance is a major step forward in the reconstruction of the French nuclear industry. “This company brings together the expertise of EDF and Areva NP under one roof, so they can design and build nuclear islands for power plants.” 

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