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EDF, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries partnering on French nuclear firm

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has completed its acquisition of an almost one-fifth stake in a French nuclear power equipment maker, the Tokyo-based industrial giant reported Friday.

MHI now owns 19.5 percent of Framatome, completing a deal announced in July 2017. Paris-based electricity provider EDF will hold its controlling 75.5 percent take, with both companies collaborating on the ATMEA nuclear reactor development.

Assystem has a 5 percent take in Framatome. The company’s name was changed from New NP earlier this week as part of the AREVA Group transaction.

The completion of the investment will also result in a reorganization of ATMEA. ATMEA was formed as a joint venture between MHI and AREVA NP to develop the next-generation ATMEA1 reactor. Under the new structure, there will be fifty-fifty ownership of ATMEA between MHI and EDF, along with a special share owned by Framatome.
"MHI has been a key player in cooperation between Japan and France in the development of nuclear power generation technologies for many years,” MHI CEO and President Shunichi Miyanaga said in a statement. “With the completion of our investment into Framatome, a new structure has been created that will further strengthen the ties between our nuclear energy industries, and I am confident this new relationship will enable further improvement in technologies to ensure the long-term sustainability and reliability of nuclear energy."MHI, EDF and Framatome will collaborate in promoting worldwide sales of the ATMEA1 reactor. Further, cooperative ties between France and Japan's nuclear power industries will be strengthened in areas including equipment supply to NPPs, after-sale servicing, and decommissioning work.

MHI and the AREVA Group began working together in the 1990s in the fuel cycle business. They widened that agreement into the nuclear energy field 12 years ago. One of the outcomes of that collaboration was the 1,200-MW class ATMEA1 pressurized water reactor.

EDF current operates 73 nuclear power projects in France and the United Kingdom.

The Framatome name has historical context in France, being the name of a former French reactor vendor which helped form the origin of AREVA. The name of the company eventally became New NP.

AREVA sold the controlling stake in the New NP asset to EDF, which changed the name back to Framatome. The Framatome companies have about 14,000 employees and work on more than 250 reactors globally, according to reports.

 

Editor's Note: Senior Editor Rod Walton can be contacted at rwalton@pennwell.com or by calling 918-831-9177.

 

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