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India, Areva Sign 7 Billion-Euro Contract for Nuclear Reactors

India, Areva Sign 7 Billion-Euro Contract
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, second from right, and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, second from left, attend a signing ceremony between Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon, left, and Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) CEO Shreyans Kumar Jain, right, in New Delhi. Photographer: Philippe Wojazer/AFP/Getty Images

France and India signed a preliminary contract for nuclear reactors and services worth about 7 billion euros ($9.3 billion), Areva SA Chief Executive Officer Anne Lauvergeon told reporters in New Delhi today.

Areva and state-owned Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd. signed agreements for the construction of two reactors, the first of a series of six at Jaitapur in western India, the French nuclear company said in a statement today. The deals include fuel supply for 25 years, the Paris-based company said.

The agreements set conditions for Areva to supply “nuclear islands,” which include reactor vessels and steam generators, as well as related services, and allow both sides “to accelerate several partnerships between Areva and the Indian nuclear industry,” the French company said. Areva, the world’s biggest supplier of nuclear equipment and services, will supply EPR reactors, it said.

The French government, which controls 91 percent of Areva, is seeking to sell shares to investors such as the Kuwait sovereign fund. Areva, which wants to increase sales in countries such as India and China, needs to invest in new plants and uranium mines as competition from Russian and Korean companies intensifies.

“The capital increase is necessary, but not vital,” Lauvergeon told France 24 television station today. “It’s been now 18 months of talks, and it does not help commercial deals like the one here today.”

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