* Two separate bids submitted
* Winner to be decided in 3-5 weeks
LONDON Oct 3 France's Areva has
dropped out of the race to buy British nuclear new-build project
Horizon, the company said on Wednesday, three months after
announcing it was bidding for it with China Guangdong Nuclear
"Areva and CGNPC have suspended their interest in the
planned sale of Horizon and did not submit a bid," a spokeswoman
for Areva said, without specifying the reason for its
Two other bids were submitted for Horizon on Friday - one
from Areva's competitor Westinghouse and its parent company
Toshiba, the other from Japanese engineering firm
Hitachi and Canadian counterparty SNC-Lavalin,
an industry source with direct knowledge of the deals said.
The Horizon project was put up for sale by its German owners
E.ON and RWE in March, after Germany's
decision to pull out of nuclear power blew a hole in the
utilities' balance sheets.
The British government plans huge growth in its nuclear
industry, with new power stations expected to come on line by
2025 to replace ageing plants. Horizon owns two nuclear sites in
Britain where it plans to build 6 gigawatts of nuclear capacity.
Westinghouse had been expected to bid with a Chinese
partner, State Nuclear Power Technology Corp (SNPTC), for
Westinghouse and SNPTC declined to comment.
Hitachi and SNC-Lavalin have previous experience of working
together on nuclear projects.
Britain's programme to build new plants has encountered
various stumbling blocks, with British utility SSE dropping out
of new-build consortium NuGen last year and Japan's Fukushima
crisis delaying licensing and making projects more costly.