EDF board approves creation of Edvance

18 May 2017

The board of directors of French utility EDF today approved the formation of Edvance, a new company focused on the supply of nuclear islands. Edvance, of which EDF will hold 80% and Areva NP 20%, will be responsible for the design and implementation of nuclear islands and control systems for new reactors constructed in France and worldwide.

EDF chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy said: "With the creation of Edvance, we are taking a major step forward in the reconstruction of the French nuclear industry. This company brings together the expertise of EDF and Areva NP under one roof, so they can design and build nuclear islands for power plants."

He added, "This combining of forces will help our industry work better and more efficiently when it comes to building new nuclear plants, thus making sure it is more competitive domestically and on international markets."

EDF noted that the new company is being set up independently from its acquisition of majority control of New Areva NP, planned for the end of 2017. Areva NP, it said, will now focus on its core business of supplying nuclear reactors. As such, it will provide the primary circuit, equipment, safety control systems and nuclear instrumentation.

EDF agreed in July 2015 to take a stake of between 51% and 75% in Areva's reactor unit in a government-backed plan to revitalise France's nuclear power industry. The European Commission approved the restructuring of the Areva group in mid-January, ruling that the French government's plan to grant a capital injection of €4.5 billion ($5.0 billion) into Areva does not breach European Union state aid rules.

The reactor operations to be sold have been transferred to a subsidiary wholly owned by Areva NP, referred to as 'New Areva NP'. Areva began the process of splitting off its nuclear fuel cycle activities into 'NewCo' in August 2016, combining the Areva Mines, Areva NC, Areva Projects and Areva Business Support companies and their respective subsidiaries.

In January, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited agreed on the main terms of their respective acquisitions of 5% stakes in NewCo for €250 million each. Last week, French nuclear engineering company Assystem made an offer of €125 million to Areva and EDF to take a 5% stake in New Areva NP.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News