Feb 24 (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi signed a nuclear cooperation deal on Tuesday at a bilateral summit. [nLO637203]
Italian utility Enel (ENEI.MI) said it had agreed with French power giant EDF (EDF.PA) to study the feasibility of building four nuclear plants in Italy and to extend Enel’s involvement in France’s nuclear programme.
The two companies will set up a 50-50 joint venture for the feasibility study then, once Italy passes a new law authorising construction of new plants — suspended by a 1987 referendum — they would set up holding companies to build four new plants.
Enel officials said the Italians would have a 60 percent stake and EDF 40 percent in each holding company, with both allowed to sell on shares to third parties as long as they jointly keep a controlling stake of at least 51 percent.
The first new Italian plant is expected to be operative in 2020, said one Enel official.
HISTORY OF COOPERATION
Under a deal reached in Nov. 2007 between France and Italy, Enel took a 12.5 percent stake in France’s first European Pressurized Reactor (EPR), or improved third generation plant, which is being built in Flamanville, northwestern France.
It was also given the option to take part in five other new generation reactors, including one authorised at Penly, again in northwestern France.
As part of that previous accord, Enel on Tuesday also signed an agreement expressing its interest in extending its participation in France’s nuclear programme, as part of a previous accord with EDF, on building five more EPR plants.
An Enel spokeswoman said the deal signed in Rome meant Enel would be exercising its option for 12.5 percent stake in Penly.
With the cost of building such a reactor running at about 4 billion euros, Enel’s investment in Penly would be worth around 500 million euros.
EDF DOMINANCE AT HOME, EXPANSION ABROAD
France is Europe’s nuclear energy champion with 58 nuclear reactors running with a total capacity of 63,260 megawatts. It aims to increase the number of its reactors to 60, with a large part of the newly generated electricity to be sold to European neighbours. The EPRs are also used by France to showcase its nuclear power expertise to sell reactors abroad.
The following lists France’s nuclear power plants connected to the grid, and the planned ones.
Name region Capacity Start date Operator
Flamanville northwest 2 x 1,300 1985/1986 EDF
Paluel northwest 4 x 1,300 1984 EDF
Penly northwest 2 x 1,300 1990/1992 EDF
Gravelines northwest 6 x 900 1980/1985 EDF
Nogent northeast 2 x 1,300 1987/1988 EDF
Chooz northeast 2 x 1,450 1996/1997 EDF
Cattenom northeast 4 x 1,300 1986/1991 EDF
Fessenheim east 2 x 900 1977/1978 EDF
Bugey southeast 4 x 900 1978/1979 EDF
Saint-Alban southeast 2 x 1,300 1985/1986 EDF
Cruas southeast 4 x 900 1983/1984 EDF
Tricastin southeast 4 x 900 1980/1981 EDF
Golfech southwest 2 x 1,300 1990/1993 EDF
Blayais southwest 4 x 900 1981/1983 EDF
Civaux southwest 2 x 1,450 1997/1999 EDF
Belleville Centre 2 x 1,300 1987/1988 EDF
Dampierre Centre 4 x 900 1980/1981 EDF Saint-Laurent Centre 2 x 900 1981 EDF
Chinon Centre 4 x 900 1982/83/87 EDF
Flamanville northwest 1 x 1,600 2012 EDF
Penly northwest 1 x 1,600 2017 EDF (Compiled by Muriel Boselli)