Suez Picks Up 5% Ownership Interest in Georges Besse II Enrichment Plant

Monday, July 7, 2008

French energy major Suez and nuclear engineering company Areva have signed an agreement, giving Suez a 5% ownership interest in the company that holds the Georges Besse II uranium enrichment plant.

The facility, built by Areva at the Tricastin site in France's Drome department, is based on ultra centrifuge technology. Suez, through its energy services business line, is building the electrical installations, and supplying the fluid management systems and the HVAC and process cooling equipment of the new plant, which is scheduled for startup in 2009.

The agreement reflects the two groups' intention to further develop their present industrial co-operation. With it, Suez will be able to secure a portion of its nuclear reactor supply needs in enriched uranium.

Georges Besse II is said to be one of the largest industrial investments in France, representing a total of around E3 billion.

Centrifuge enrichment technology reportedly offers the advantage of consuming 50 times less electricity than the existing gaseous diffusion process used in France and does not need water for cooling.tracking

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