February 9, 2009 / 7:24 AM / 11 years ago

Total eyes active role in EPR nuclear plant-report

PARIS, Feb 9 (Reuters) - French oil group Total (TOTF.PA), which is seeking a double-digit percentage stake in France’s second EPR nuclear plant, also wants to play an active role in its construction.

“We want to acquire expertise in the nuclear sector in order to one day become a true nuclear plant operator,” Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie told French daily les Echos in an interview.

“We do not want to be just a financial partner in this new EPR plant. We would like a significant stake, a double-digit stake, but we are also industrialists and our wish is that EDF (EDF.PA) gives us the opportunity to participate actively in the construction of the second French EPR,” he said.

Last month, France announced that leading French utilities EDF (EDF.PA) and GDF Suez GSZ.PA would be involved in the construction of a new French EPR nuclear facility.

EPR (European Pressurised Reactor) plants incorporate new-generation technology, though companies involved in setting them up have often faced cost overruns.

reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by John Stonestreet

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