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AREVA and URENCO announce the creation of the Joint Venture ETC (Enrichment Technology Company)

Press release

July 03, 2006

Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of AREVA, and Helmut Engelbrecht, CEO of URENCO, signed today the agreement to settle ETC (Enrichment Technology Company), the Joint Venture between AREVA and Urenco in the field of uranium enrichment centrifuge technology.

The Joint Venture is now effective with the acquisition by AREVA of a 50% equity stake in ETC.

This collaboration has been subject to competition clearance from the European Commission as well as intergovernmental agreement between the governments of Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France.

ETC comprises all of URENCO's design and manufacturing activities in the field of centrifuge equipment and installations for uranium enrichment as well as related R&D. The jointly owned company ETC will be the exclusive vehicle for the centrifuge technology business for both partners., URENCO and AREVA will continue to compete in the provision and marketing of uranium enrichment services.

ETC will continue to be located at its existing locations, namely Almelo, Capenhurst, Gronau, Julich and a Head Office in Marlow. The Chairman of ETC is Bart Le Blanc (Urenco's Finance Director) and Dr Pat Upson will continue in his role as Managing Director of ETC.

The Urenco developed technology brought to ETC is widely recognised as the world's only current viable technology option for future increase of plant capacity and new builds. It will be used in two key projects, Georges Besse 2 located at Tricastin, France led by AREVA, and NEF located in the USA, led by URENCO. By co-operating in this area, both partners will benefit from the increased capacity and the technical expertise of this unique technology. The Joint Venture therefore forms a key part in both companies' strategies.

Speaking at the Joint Venture Signing Ceremony in Paris, AREVA Chief Executive Anne Lauvergeon said, “By acquiring 50% of ETC's shares, AREVA secures access to, support for and development of the ETC technology and related services required to build Georges Besse II. This will allow AREVA to secure our long term commitments to our customers with a smooth transition between Georges Besse and Georges Besse II plants”.

Helmut Engelbrecht, URENCO CEO said, “The purpose of the venture is to share knowledge of efficient, economic and environmentally friendly technology. The completion of this project allows Urenco to achieve one of its key strategic aims, to generate value to the Group by working with key partners to share Urenco's world leading technology”.

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