Luxembourg: ArcelorMittal and Areva have announced €70-million joint investment to boost ingot-production at Le Creusot in the Burgundy district of France, that would increase the steel maker's ingot production capacity for forging nuclear components.
At a cermony attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in the village of Le Creusot, where 80 per cent of the components required to build an EPR can be produced, Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon and Aditya Mittal, chief financial officer of ArcelorMittal, signed the investment agreement that aims to increase production at the ArcelorMittal group subsidiary, Industeel.
This investment will benefit all the nuclear players in the Burgundy who have joined forces in a competitiveness cluster known as Pôle Nucléaire de Bourgogne or the The Burgundy Nuclear Partnership.
For ArcelorMittal the deal is part of multi-year steel plant development programme in France, which it promised the government to overcome French resistance to Mittal Steel's battle for the acquisition of its No2 rival Arcelor SA. The programme will be implemented at a total investment of €1 billion notably in Dunkirk, Fos and Florange.
With the signing of the agreement between nuclear power and steel giants, 100 per cent of the components for reactor vessels would be made at Le Creusot, Areva said. The investment, which will be staggered between 2008 and 2010, will increase ingot production capacity at Industeel significantly (from 35,000 tons to 50,000 tons per year.
The AREVA group will also be investing in its Creusot Forge subsidiary to increase the production of forged parts used to manufacture nuclear reactor components, such as vessels and steam generators.
In addition, the two companies will implement a joint three-year metallurgy research and development programme at the Creusot Materials Research Centre (CRMC).
At a time when the nuclear industry is experiencing strong growth worldwide, this partnership will secure the supply of forged nuclear parts for Areva, through its subsidiary Creusot Forge, that would allow it to continue to develop the French nuclear industry.
Global nuclear power leader and the only company with end to end manufacturing capacity in the sector, Areva offers customers technological solutions for CO2-free power generation and electricity transmission and distribution.
With 2007 revenues of $105 billion, ArcelorMittal is the leader in all major global markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with leading R&D and technology, as well as sizeable captive supplies of raw materials and outstanding distribution networks. An industrial presence in over 20 countries across 4 continents exposes the company to all the key steel markets, from emerging to mature.