Ansaldo moves for international markets

27 May 2014

Ansaldo Nucleare has bought the UK's Nuclear Engineering Services (NES), hoping to grow its business through exposure the Britain's growing nuclear market.

The €36 million ($49 million) purchase was supported by Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI), an investment fund intended to increase the competitiveness of Italian companies. It owns 84.55% of Ansaldo Energia, which in turn owns Ansaldo Nucleare.

Talking Italian
The purchase follows another major deal for Ansaldo Energia, also spurred on by the involvement of FSI. Earlier this month a long-term strategic partnership was signed that envisages Shanghai Electric taking a 40% stake in Ansaldo Energia for some €400 million ($545 million). This is subject to an anti-trust process, but should enable the companies to develop joint gas turbine technology and result in expansion for Ansaldo Energia's Italian facilities.

NES says that it "specialises in the design, manufacture, assembly, test, installation and commissioning of bespoke solutions for the nuclear decommissioning, defence, and nuclear new build markets." By adding NES's 400 staff, three sites, and UK connections, Ansaldo Nucleare hopes to gain "wider expertise in decommissioning and nuclear plant sectors" and go on to offer a broader range of services in other international markets. It said this would be helped by "starting from the UK market, characterized by a highly positive outlook."

NES is a contractor supporting complex projects at Sellafield, including the £1.2 billion ($2.0 billion) removal and direct encapsulation of Magnox swarf from silos. This kind of work "represents a source of potential development opportunities," said Ansaldo Nucleare. FSI states that it "primarily acquires minority interests in financially sound companies of 'significant national interest with adequate profit potential and significant development prospects."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News