Italy's Enel signs for up to 1200 MWe of nuclear

30 November 2007

Italy's leading power generator will take 12.5% of the output from Flamanville 3, with an option for the same from five subsequent new nuclear units built by Electricite de France (EdF).

Following a memorandum of understanding signed in May 2005, Enel CEO Fulvio Conti signed a cooperation agreement with EdF chair and general manager Pierre Gadonneix today. They inked the document during a summit of the Italian and French governments attended by President Nicholas Sarkozy and prime minister Romano Prodi.

Enel said that the deal allows it to gain "valuable know-how," with Conti adding that it would allow Enel to "gain access to the most advanced nuclear technology." Nuclear power was prohibited in Italy by a 1987 public referendum. However, the country suffers the highest power costs in Europe due to its need to import, and Enel has been keen to invest in nuclear projects abroad.

With first concrete expected in the construction of Flamanville 3 in mid December and operation in 2012, Enel will be able to draw on their 200 MWe share of the 1600 MWe nuclear power reactor by means of 'virtual capacity'.

Enel will have up to 600 MWe of virtual capacity from 2008, going up to 1200 MWe by 2012, which could be sold to French consumers. The cooperation agreement means that EdF would have the same rights to power from Enel's facilities outside of France and in the Mediterranean basin.
Because Enel and EdF's deal also covers 30-40% stakes in EdF's forthcoming gas-fired power plants, there is an opportunity for Enel to gain 1400 MWe of gas-fired generation.

Enel's statement on the deal put the price of Flamanville 3, an Areva EPR like the one under construction at Olkiluoto in Finland, at Eur3.6 billion ($5.3 billion).

By way of today's deal, Enel secured the right to use EPR technology by participating in plant design and construction phases. Enel said it would establish a training program for it's staff in EPR technology.

Further information

Electricite de France

WNA's French Nuclear Power Prorgam information paper
WNA's Nuclear Energy in Italy information paper

WNN: Italy slowly reopens doors to nuclear power