Enel Sees Penly EPR Reactor Investors Decided ‘Within Months’
Electricite de France SA, Europe’s biggest power generator, may determine by the end of the year which companies will invest in a planned EPR nuclear reactor at Penly in northern France, according to a partner in the project.
“I imagine participation in the project could be decided within months,” Michel Cremieux, head of Enel France, said in an interview at an energy conference in Paris. Enel has asked for meetings with EDF to determine the size of the stake Enel will hold in Penly, he said.
An EDF spokeswoman wasn’t immediately available to comment.
Uncertainty about the Penly project was stoked by a report in Les Echos last week that GDF Suez SA, France’s second-biggest power generator, had canceled plans to take a stake. GDF declined to comment on the report. French President Nicolas Sarkozy in January 2009 gave the go-head for the project, considered key to developing the next-generation reactor that France seeks to export.
Enel and EDF have an agreement giving the Italian utility a 12.5 percent stake in an EPR that EDF is developing at Flamanville, Normandy. It also has an option to invest in five more plants in France, including at Penly. EDF will also partner with Enel to build EPRs in Italy.
GDF Suez and Total SA last year announced a partnership for ownership of a 33.33 percent stake in Penly. Total plans to keep its 8.33 percent stake in the reactor, spokesman Frederic Texier said last week. Former EDF chief executive officer Pierre Gadonneix said last year E.ON AG may also take a stake in the reactor.
GDF Suez, which fought to lead the development and operate the Penly reactor, lost out to state-controlled EDF when Sarkozy gave control to EDF. Construction of the 1,650-megawatt reactor was initially slated to start in 2012 and be finished in 2017.
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