(Recasts, changes headline, adds details competitors)
By Simon Shuster and Shamil Baigin
MOSCOW Feb 3 Germany's Siemens (SIEGn.DE) and
Russia's state nuclear company have pledged to look at closer
cooperation in what Russia said could lead to a powerful
alliance in the world nuclear market.
Siemens and Russia's Rosatom, both already major players in
the world nuclear market, said they would assess closer ties in
the field of atomic energy, after talks in Moscow with Russian
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
"We are ready to move from the realisation of piecemeal
projects to the creation of a full partnership between Siemens
and our company Rosatom," Putin said. "We will help the
realisation of your projects in any way we can."
Sources familiar with the situation said last week that
Siemens had exited its nuclear venture with Areva NP to set up a
partnership with Rosatom subsidiary Atomenergoprom.
"We suggest creating a working group to discuss the
possibility of our cooperation (with Rosatom) in order to come
to a concrete decision before the end of April," Siemens CEO
Peter Loescher said after talks with Putin.
The delegates stopped short of penning a concrete deal on an
alliance on Tuesday, though they did sign a memorandum on
Siemens has worked with Rosatom on several projects since
the 1990s, including safety and control services for two power
plants in Slovakia. They are also partnering on the Belene
nuclear power plant in Bulgaria.
"From tomorrow we are creating a working group that will in
the shortest possible time lay out a programme for a strategic
cooperation," said Sergei Kiriyenko, the chief of Russian state
nuclear corporation, Rosatom, which controls Atomenergoprom.
"This a great time to build an alliance as the world nuclear
market is undergoing a renaissance," Kiriyenko said.
Atomenergoprom was created by Putin, while he was president,
to merge all of Russia's civilian nuclear assets and help them
compete in the global market.
Russia, one of the world's biggest sellers of enrichment
services, has been trying to break into the prosperous nuclear
markets of the United States and European Union, and has been
eyeing a possible alliance in the world market.
Competitors include Areva NP, a unit of Areva S.A.
CEPFi.PA; Japan's Toshiba Corp (6502.T), which owns U.S.-based
Westinghouse; and GE Hitachi, the nuclear venture of U.S.
conglomerate General Electric (GE.N) and Japan's Hitachi
(Additional reporting by Irene Preisinger in Frankfurt; writing
by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Simon Jessop)
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