November 4, 2010 / 7:09 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Areva signs three deals with China, eyes EPR sale

* Will supply 20,000 tons of uranium to CGNPC for $3.5 bln

* Industrial agreement with CNNC for used fuel and recycling

* Still hopes to sell two additional EPRs to China

(Adds details, background)

PARIS, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Areva CEPFi.PA signed three contracts with China on Thursday, paving the way for a possible sale of two additional EPR nuclear reactors to the world’s largest energy user.

The French nuclear giant clinched the deals on the sidelines of a three-day state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to France. [ID:nLDE6A31GV]

Areva, the world’s biggest maker of nuclear reactors said in a statement it would supply 20,000 tons of uranium over 10 years to China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp (CGNPC) and that the contract is worth around $3.5 billion.

The company also said it had signed an industrial agreement with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) to co-operate in used fuel treatment and recycling.

In addition, Areva and CNNC launched a 50/50 joint venture named CAST — CNNC Areva Shanghai Tubing — that will produce and market zirconium tubes for the fabrication of fuel assemblies. Located in Shanghai, the plant will start operations at the end of 2012.

Areva is building two EPR reactors at the Taishan plant in China, and is in discussions with Beijing about the sale of two other units to satisfy the country’s huge electricity needs.

Asked about the progress of talks, Areva Chief Executive Anne Lauvergeon told Reuters they were “very advanced”. (Reporting by Matthias Blamont. Additional reporting by Daniel Flynn; editing by David Hulmes)

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