Czech enrichment contract for Areva

17 November 2009

Czech utility CEZ has signed a 15-year contract for uranium enrichment services with Areva. 

The contract, to supply enrichment for CEZ's Temelin 1 and 2, adds to the growing order book for the Georges Besse II centrifuge enrichment plant which is being built at the Tricastin site, the first stages of which are due to reach full capacity in 2016.

François-Xavier Rouxel, executive president of Areva's enrichment business unit, described the contract as "a sign of the confidence placed by our Czech customer in Areva’s know-how and reliability," while CEZ called it "a very important part of our long-term diversification of supply strategy."

CEZ joins Electricité de France (EdF) and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) in signing long-term contracts for the plant's output. An alternative to long-term contracts is to take a minority stake in Societe d'Enrichissement du Tricastin (SET), the Areva subsidiary that is building and will operate the plant. Customers including Suez, Kansai, Sojitz and KHNP have taken that option.

Temelin is home to two Russian-designed VVER-1000 pressurised water reactors. CEZ, which also operates four units at Dukovany, recently launched a tender to build two more units at Temelin, and reports have suggested that bids were lodged by a consortium of Skoda JS, Atomstroyexport and Gidropress, as well as by Westinghouse, Areva, Mitsubishi, Atmea and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power.