July 8, 2008

Areva to Boost Le Creusot Nuclear Component Production Capacity

French nuclear engineering major Areva has launched an investment program in Le Creusot, in the Burgundy region of France, to increase the group's forged nuclear component production capacity.

Areva noted that, currently, around 80% of the components required to build a European pressurized reactor (EPR) can be produced in Le Creusot. Following the capacity expansion, 100% of the components will be manufactured in the region.

The plan will initially concern ingot production at the Industeel steel works, a subsidiary of steel giant ArcelorMittal. Spread between 2008 and 2010, this investment will enable Industeel to considerably increase its annual ingot production from 35,000 tons to 50,000 tons.

Anne Lauvergeon, Areva's CEO, and Aditya Mittal, CFO of ArcelorMittal, have signed a memorandum of understanding to increase nuclear industry specific production at Industeel.

The Areva group will also be investing in its Creusot Forge subsidiary to increase the production of forged parts used to manufacture nuclear reactor components, such as vessels and steam generators.

Areva said that, at a time when nuclear power is enjoying a major global upswing, this increase in capacity will allow it to pursue the development of the French nuclear industry.