F4E awards ITER construction contract

20 April 2010

One of Europe’s biggest engineering contracts has been signed for construction of ITER, the world’s latest experimental nuclear fusion reactor in southern France. The contract worth EUR150 million was awarded to the ENGAGE consortium made up of four European companies: Assystem (France), Atkins (UK), Empresados Agrupados (Spain) and Iosis (France).

Signed on 13 April, the contract covers the construction of the entire ITER complex including 29 out of a total of 39 buildings, site infrastructure and power supplies. It is expected that more than 230 engineers and designers will be working under this contract.

Fusion for Energy (F4E), the European domestic agency also awarded a second contract for the Health and Safety Protection Coordination and Legal Inspection Services to Marseille-based firm Apave. This contract worth EUR 9 million will help F4E to ensure the general prevention of any risks associated with the performance of the works from the implementation of the Architect Engineering contract.

Frank Briscoe, Director of Fusion for Energy says that more contracts are in the pipeline, adding: "ITER is becoming alive.”

Managing director of Atkins’ energy business, Martin Grant said: “ITER ranks as one of the most technically challenging projects the world has ever seen and it must be delivered to a time-critical schedule.”

Site preparation at the ITER site is already underway. Construction of the Poloidal Field Coil Winding Facility is due to begin this summer; ITER Director-General Kaname Ikeda signed an application for its construction permit on 1 April.

"This facility together with the permanent office buildings, which are expected to rise this year as well, will clearly mark the fact that ITER is moving towards its construction phase," Ikeda said. "This visible progress will do everyone good."

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