EDF completes GE Steam Power acquisition

31 May 2024

GE Vernova has completed the sale of a portion of its nuclear conventional islands technology and services, including its Arabelle steam turbines, to EDF. Arabelle Solutions is now a wholly owned subsidiary of EDF.

An Arabelle turbine provided the backdrop for President Macron's livestreamed February 2022 announcement of French new-build plans (Image: Elysee/YouTube)

The transaction includes the manufacturing of conventional island equipment for new nuclear power plants as well as related maintenance and upgrade activities for existing nuclear plants outside of the Americas. EDF's acquisition of the business - at that time, known as GE Steam Power - was first announced in early 2022 and the final agreement signed that November.

EDF Group said the transaction will allow it to acquire key technologies and skills for the nuclear industry and European energy security. Employing around 3,300 people, Arabelle Solutions will supply equipment for new nuclear power plants and will also maintain and upgrade equipment in existing nuclear power plants. Its steam turbines will be used in particular in the EPR, EPR2 and SMR (small modular reactor) reactor series, the company said.

"This acquisition supports the relaunch of nuclear reactor construction, which Europe needs in order to decarbonise its economy and ensure its energy sovereignty, with a fully autonomous European industrial sector," EDF Chairman and CEO Luc Rémont said. "Arabelle Solutions will strengthen our industrial expertise in the nuclear value chain alongside Framatome."

Framatome CEO Bernard Fontana has been appointed chairman of Arabelle Solutions's board. Frédéric Wiscart is its CEO.

GE Vernova, which was spun off from GE earlier this year, retains a services-focused Steam Power business, including services for more than 100 gigawatts of nuclear turbine islands in the Americas region. It also retains GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, and said it remains committed to the nuclear sector and continues to invest in next-generation technology.

CEO Scott Strazik said completion of the transaction was an important milestone for the company. "Going forward, GE Vernova plans to continue to be a best-in-class services partner for our other Steam Power customers and is focused on advancing the future of nuclear power with our small modular reactor technology," he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron chose GE Steam Power's Belfort manufacturing site in eastern France to announce plans for a new reactor building programme in early 2022. On Friday, he welcomed the announcement on X: "This is a commitment that I made in Belfort: EDF is taking over the nuclear activities of General Electric from today, in particular the manufacturing of Arabelle turbines. A big step for our energy sovereignty."

Financial terms for the transaction have not been disclosed.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News