Today this setback raises many questions

December 13, 2011 12:00 AM
Today this setback raises many questions

What will be the consequences of the failure of Abu Dhabi By assigning a $ 20.4 billion contract to the consortium led by Korean Kepco, the Emirate condemned the French camp to a heavy challenge. Favorite given long, the Habs nuclear sector champions were beaten by the competitor that they considered the least dangerous initially. AREVA, GDF Suez and Total fought on this iconic contract for more than two years. In January 2008, the three groups had announced their candidacy for the construction of third generation nuclear reactors before be joined in recent months by EDF, at the express request of the Elysee Palace. Today, this setback raises many questions. Was the EPR adapted Should review business strategy Flat back the French die

Put an end to the bickering

Obviously, the failure of the French camp will give the grain grinding those militating for a reorganization. This month, Nicolas Sarkozy gave a reflection mission François Roussely, to mark the future of the sector and put an end to the bickering. What are the possible scenarios A first option advocated by the new boss of EDF, Henri Proglio, would be to restore the Canadiens electrician a leading role. In November, Henri Proglio had criticized the "mess" in the sector. Mindful of their independence, other actors argue for a more flexible organisation. Grosso modo, the heavy weight of the sector would be interested by the nuclear countries, essentially to prevent changes in last minute, as in Abu Dhabi. Another option, a dismantling of Areva. A hypothesis seems little probable. After referring to the need to rethink the roles of Areva and CEA, the pattern of EDF was crop by François Fillon and had then minimized his words.

Was the EPR adapted

The call for tenders in Abu Dhabi also raises questions about the ability of Areva to sell abroad the EPR. In proposing this reactor, the company has chosen to promote a high-tech product, which claims the highest security standards in the world. "The reactors proposed by the Korean consortium could not be installed in Europe or the United States." "They date from the 1980s," it says on the side of Areva. KEPCO, of course, says the contrary, according to the statements of the United Arab Emirates. For many observers, which has made a difference, it is the price. And even in one of the richest countries in the world, this test was decisive. Another disadvantage, Areva is not a reactor of third-generation power comparable to that of the Korean consortium. There where the latter proposed 1,400 megawatts with its APR1400, PRT displays almost 1,600. The advent of the Atmea, 1,100 MW reactor designed in partnership with Mitsubishi, should expand the range.

A hard blow for GDF Suez

Abu Dhabi summed up in him alone the ambitions of GDF Suez nuclear. A year and a half, the group planned to build a plant in the Emirate but also in Bulgaria, Britain and France. So far, the results are limited. The Group received a participation in the EPR of Penly, but the project leader will be EDF. GDF Suez also put an end to a cooperation project with RWE to build a plant in Bulgaria. Finally, the group is simply to purchase land in the United Kingdom. The big winners of the British auction launched mid-March by the NDA, the authority of Revel, nuclear were EDF, E.ON and RWE.

An impact on the capital increase of Areva

The failure of Sunday will have an impact on the next site of the nuclear group: capital increase of EUR 2 billion project. The sovereign of Abu Dhabi Fund was part of potential investors, in the same way as the Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries or as sovereign wealth funds of the Kuwait or Dubai. Now, it is highly likely that the first up to the capital. This will give greater leeway to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to pay his participation at a fair price or to negotiate counterparties. He could seek a seat on the Supervisory Board, or technological exchanges.