BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Siemens is exiting nuclear power in response to the German government’s decision to quit the energy source, leading it to scrap a venture with Russia’s Rosatom, its chief executive said.
“The (nuclear) chapter is closed for us,” Peter Loescher told German weekly magazine Der Spiegel in an interview published on Sunday.
Its decision comes after more than two years of turmoil around the engineering conglomerate’s nuclear business.
In early 2009, it sought a divorce from its nuclear joint venture with Areva to tie up with Rosatom.
The decision cost it 648 million euros ($893 million) when an arbitration court found it violated its shareholder pact with Areva by tying up with Rosatom.
The break-up with Rosatom will not have any financial impact on Siemens, a spokesman for the company said on Sunday. A spokesman for Rosatom could not be reached in Moscow.
Loescher said Berlin’s U-turn on energy policy after the Fukushima crisis in Japan played a role in Siemens’ decision to drop its plans with Rosatom, but said the government had not pressured the company to exit nuclear power projects.
“This is also an answer to the clear position of society and politics in Germany on exiting nuclear power,” he said.
Under the original proposal, the German and Russian duo would have developed Russian pressurized water reactor technology, a new-generation nuclear reactor that would compete with Areva’s 1,650 megawatt EPR reactor.
Loescher said Siemens still wanted to work with Rosatom in areas other than nuclear power, without providing details. He said the company would continue to supply components such as steam turbines for nuclear power plants.
($1 = 0.725 Euros)
Reporting by Alexandra Hudson in Berlin and Maria Sheahan in Frankfurt; Additional reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman in Moscow; Editing by David Hulmes