Enrichment: Kyushu and Tohoku acquire a stake in AREVA’s Georges Besse II plant
GROUP / FRONT END
November 04, 2010
The Japanese utilities, Kyushu Electric Power and Tohoku Electric Power, have each acquired a 1% stake in the holding company of Société d’Enrichissement du Tricastin (SET), the operator of AREVA’s Georges Besse II enrichment plant.
The acquisition is supported by the newly created JFEI (Japan France Enrichment Investing) which groups together all the Japanese companies with a share in GBII. Added to the 2.5% stake acquired by Kansai and Sojitz in 2009, this gives JFEI a 4.5% share in SET.
François-Xavier Rouxel, Executive Vice President of AREVA’s Enrichment business unit: “Along with GDF-Suez and KHNP, this brings the number of partners with a share in Georges Besse II to six. The latest partnership with Kyushu and Tohoku illustrates our utility customers’ strong interest in this major project and strengthens the links between AREVA and these two longstanding customers".
The AREVA group’s new enrichment plant is being built on the Tricastin nuclear site in Southern France. It will have a production capacity of 7.5 million SWU (Separative Work Units) which could be increased to 11 million SWU. Georges Besse II will use state-of-the-art centrifugation technology which has the advantage of requiring fifty times less electricity than the gaseous diffusion process currently used in France.
With a total amount of about three billion euros, the Georges Besse II plant is one of the largest industrial investment projects underway in France today. Plant operations are expected to begin before the end of 2010, and production should reach full capacity by 2016.