|Type||Public (Euronext: CEI)|
|Headquarters||Courbevoie, Paris, France|
|Key people||Luc Oursel – Chief Executive Officer|
|Revenue||€ 8.872 billion (2011)|
|Operating income||€ -1.923 billion (2011)|
|Net income||€ -2.424 billion (2011)|
Areva SA is a French public multinational industrial conglomerate headquartered in the Tour Areva in Courbevoie, Paris. Areva is mainly known for nuclear power, although it also pursues interests in other energy projects. Its nuclear technology subsidiary, Areva NP, was created by absorbing the nuclear business line of German company Siemens; it has developed the EPR, an advanced 3rd generation pressurized water nuclear reactor.
The corporate name "Areva" is inspired by the Trappist Santa Maria de la Real monastery in Arevalo in Spain.
- 1 History
- 2 Business lines
- 3 Administration
- 4 Recent Finance
- 5 Nuclear reactor designs
- 6 Renewable energy
- 7 Other activities
- 8 Worldwide presence
- 9 Notable incidents
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Areva has its roots in Framatome, which was founded in 1958 by several companies of the French industrial giant The Schneider Group along with Empain, Merlin Gérin, and the American Westinghouse, in order to license Westinghouse's pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology and develop a bid for Chooz 1 (in France). Called Franco-Américaine de Constructions Atomiques (Framatome), the original company consisted of four engineers, one each from each of the parent companies. The original mission of the company was to act as a nuclear engineering firm and to develop a nuclear power plant that was to be identical to Westinghouse's existing product specifications. The first European plant of Westinghouse design was by then already under construction in Italy.
Meanwhile, the Électricité de France (EDF), the French government-owned electric utility, in opposition to the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA), maintained an interest in PWR technology. The Chooz contract offered the EDF, which joined with the Belgian electric utilities to call for the Chooz bids, the opportunity to explore PWR without offending French national pride in its homegrown GCR technology. By the beginning of 1960, only two bids remained in contention. Midway through 1960, Framatome received informal permission to begin design work on the Chooz reactor. A formal contract was signed in September 1961 for Framatome to deliver a turnkey system, that is, not only the reactor, but an entire, ready-to-use system of piping, cabling, supports, and other auxiliary systems, propelling Framatome from a nuclear engineering firm to an industrial contractor.
By 1981, France was pressing for even more control of Framatome. In January, Westinghouse agreed to sell its remaining 15 percent share to Creusot-Loire, which now owned 66 percent, and to cede complete marketing independence to Framatome. In February, the Belgian Baron Empain sold his 35 percent interest in Creusot-Loire to Paribas, a French government-linked banking group.
The May 1981 Socialist electoral victory in France intensified calls for greater government control of Framatome. A January 1982 company reorganization simultaneously strengthened French public and private control of the company by allowing Creusot-Loire to increase its share of the company while increasing CEA say in the running of the firm.
In 2001, German company Siemens' nuclear business was merged into Framatome. Framatome and Siemens had been officially cooperating since 1989 for the development of the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR).
Areva was created on 3 September 2001, by the merger of Framatome (now Areva NP), Cogema (now Areva NC) and Technicatome (now Areva TA). In 2009, Siemens sold its remaining shares of Areva NP.
In December 2011, Areva suspended building work at several sites in France, Africa and the United States, one day after forecasting a €1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) loss. Areva halted "capacity extensions" at its La Hague Reprocessing Plant, in northern France, at its Melox factory in the southwest, and at two sites attached to its Tricastin power plant in the south. Work has also stopped on extensions to uranium mines in Bakouma in the Central African Republic, Trekkopje in Namibia, and Ryst Kuil in South Africa, and caused a potential delay in construction until a capital solution is secured for the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility in the United States.
Areva is a world-leading company in nuclear energy. It is the only company with a presence in each industrial activity linked to nuclear energy: mining, chemistry, enrichment, fuel assembly, reprocessing, engineering, nuclear propulsion and reactors, treatment, recycling, stabilization, and dismantling. Areva also claims to offer technological solutions for CO₂-free energy; and produces earth leakage circuit breaker technologies, partly through Areva Renewables.
On 28 January 2010, the Group announced a major change to the organization of its nuclear and renewable operations. Its activities are now divided into 4 Business Groups:
- Mining-Front End: combines operations related to uranium exploration and mining, uranium conversion and enrichment, and the design and fabrication of fuel for nuclear reactors.
- Reactors and Services: designs and builds nuclear power plants, naval propulsion reactors and research reactors, and manufactures related equipment.
- Back End: manages all operations in the back end of the nuclear cycle, from used nuclear fuel recycling to the dismantling and value development of nuclear facilities
- Renewable Energies: a portfolio of operations revolving around 4 renewable energies: wind energy, bioenergy, solar power, and hydrogen and energy storage.
The major partners of Areva include: Euriware, STMicroelectronics, Eramet, and SAFRAN. Areva is part of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) alliance, along with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Washington Group International and BWX. GNEP is a plan initiated in 2006 to form an international partnership to reprocess spent nuclear fuel in a way that renders the plutonium in it usable for nuclear fuel, but not for nuclear weapons.
Areva's main shareholder is the French public-sector company, the CEA, which owns 78.9% (the CEA's brief is similar to that of the US Department of Energy). Areva is incorporated under French law as a société anonyme (SA: public corporation) and is also recognized as a public limited company in the United Kingdom and a corporation in United States jurisdictions. The French State (including the shares owned by the CEA) owns more than 90%.
In June 2011, the French government named Luc Oursel, formerly chief of marketing, as Chairman of the Executive Board, replacing Anne Lauvergeon, who served 10 years in the position. The Chairman's actions are subject to considerable oversight by both the board of directors and the supervisory board. In 2006, Spencer Abraham, the former U.S. Secretary of Energy, was named non-executive chairman of Areva Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Areva.
Jean-Pierre Raffarin's government announced the privatization of Areva in 2003, but it was postponed several times, the French government opting finally for the privatization of GDF and EDF. At the end of October 2005, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin announced that he had suspended the privatization process.
According to the company's official website, Areva realized €9.104 billion in sales revenue in 2010 and €-423 million in operating income.[when?] Areva had €3.672 billion of net debt[clarification needed] at the end of 2010. In June 2010, Standard & Poor's downgraded Areva’s debt rating to BBB+, due to weakened profitability following a further € 400 million provision for the Olkiluoto-3 over-running European Pressurized Reactor build. In July 2010, the French government authorised a 15% capital increase at Areva, in which Électricité de France (EDF) could raise its stake from 2.4% to 7%. According to La Tribune 11.12.2011 Areva’s losses will be more than €1 billion in 2011. The stock exchange of the share was interrupted on Monday 12 December 2011. The write-down value of assets was expected to be between one to two billion euros in 2011. On 12 December 2011 Areva gave a warning of 1.6 billion € losses and 2.4 billion € write down in 2011 and informed of a saving program. In addition to Fukushima accident, the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant is expected to bring losses for the company.
On 1 March 2012 Areva announced a business-deficit of €2.4 billion (US$3.2 billion). The loss is mainly caused by the decline of the value of the uranium-mining venture in Africa. The production of MOX-fuel did also stall in 2011 after the Fukushima disaster in Japan. 1500 employees in Germany were to be laid off, after the German decision to phase out nuclear power. Uranium prices fell from 2011-2013, as demand artificially dropped from the removal of Japan's reactors and some of Germany's reactors from the uranium market. This adversely affected some of Areva's activities.
Nuclear reactor designs
Areva has been constructing Finland's fifth reactor in Olkiluoto since 2005. The reactor, which is one of the first of the new, third generation reactors (EPR – European Pressurized Reactor), was expected to begin producing electricity in 2009, but the project has been delayed because of technical difficulties and quality problems. In August 2007, the production start was postponed to 2010–2011. During the political debate in 1992, the official price estimate was €2500M. In 2004, a contracted fixed price was established as €3200M. In its 2006 Annual Report, Areva recorded a writedown of €507M associated with the delay. A Jan 2008 financial press estimate pegged the overrun so far at €1.5 billion. In June 2010, cost overruns were estimated at €2.7 billion.
The second EPR in France is currently under construction at the Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant. As of May 2009, this plant is also behind schedule and over-budget. These new EPR reactors have required higher standards of parts then were available, forcing delays while companies upgraded their capabilities.
On 13 August 2007, the French newspaper Le Parisien alleged that the Franco-Libyan civil nuclear power agreement signed by President Nicolas Sarkozy did not concern desalinization of sea water, as claimed by the French government, but instead focused in particular on selling the EPR to Libya, a contract potentially worth $3 billion. Le Parisien cited Philippe Delaune, deputy to the deputy director of international affairs for the CEA atomic agency, which is the main share-holder in Areva. Following allegations that the deal had been related to the release of the Bulgarian nurses, the French Socialist Party, through the spokesperson Jean-Louis Bianco, declared that this deal was "geopolitically irresponsible". The German government also denounced the agreement.
In November 2007, Areva agreed to a €8 billion deal with the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group to supply them with two EPRs in Taishan, Guangdong, China. Under the terms of the agreement, Areva will also help operate the plant, including the reprocessing of spent fuel.
In December 2003, Finland became the first country to order a new nuclear reactor in Western Europe in 15 years. Finland’s Olkiluoto contract of 2003 was issued on a turnkey basis, but when the costs overran substantially, the vendor refused to meet the extra costs – an issue that is in arbitration courts. The Olkiluoto in Finland turned into a financial fiasco. The project is four years behind schedule and at least 90 percent over budget, reaching a total cost estimate of €5.7 billion ($8.3 billion) or close to €3,500 ($5,000) per kilowatt. According to the customer's estimate, the Olkiluoto plant will be finished earliest in 2016, while Areva has stopped commenting on the expected completion of the project. Owner TVO had originally contracted to start selling nuclear power at the end of April 2009.
The Atmea I is a new evolutionary reactor design targeted towards both developed and developing economies. It will be developed through a joint venture with Mitsubishi called Atmea. Current plans are targeting power output of about 1,100 MWe, but the design could be scalable to produce different levels of power output to fit different size grids. Plans called for the design to be ready for licensing applications by the end of 2009. The first is expected to be built in Turkey with construction started 2017 or after, and completed by 2023 or after.
Areva has announced that its 1,250 MWe Generation III+ boiling water reactor (BWR) design, provisionally known as SWR-1000, will henceforth be called Kerena. The Kerena design was developed from that of the Gundremmingen Nuclear Power Plant by Areva, with extensive German input and using operating experience from Generation II BWRs to simplify systems engineering.
Areva created the global Areva Renewables group in 2006 as an expansion of its clean energy portfolio with renewable energy. This group represents four business lines: concentrated solar power, offshore wind power, biomass power, and hydrogen power storage and distribution. Areva Renewables is based at the Paris, France, headquarters with business units in the United States, Brazil, and Germany.
Concentrated Solar Power
In Feb 2010, Areva formed Areva Solar with its acquisition of US-based Ausra, a provider of concentrated solar power solutions using Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) technology. Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Areva Solar operates a 5MWe solar power plant in Bakersfield, California, at its Kimberlina Solar Thermal Energy Plant development facility. Areva Solar markets its solar boiler technology in three formats: as a standalone solar power plant generating 50MW+ of electricity, as a solar booster (20-50MW) adding solar steam power to an existing fossil-fuel power plant for carbon mitigation, and as an industrial steam provider for food, oil, desalination and other processes. Areva Solar’s boilers attain 750-degree F superheated steam, and are the first and only solar boiler to receive S-Stamp certification by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Offshore wind power
In 2007, Areva purchased 51% of offshore wind turbine manufacturer Multibrid. In June 2010, Areva purchased the remaining 49% and formed Areva Wind. At its Bremerhaven, Germany, manufacturing facility, Areva Wind produces 5MW wind turbines specifically designed and sealed for offshore environments. The company designs, manufactures, assembles and commissions its wind turbines, blades and masts, with existing placements being in the North Sea. To reduce weight and size, the company uses a hybrid drive system in the turbine. The turbine generates a maximum of 5MW of electricity in a maximum 39 feet/sec (12 meter/sec) wind. From the ocean’s surface to the top tip of the blade rotation, an Areva Wind turbine assembly stands taller (616 feet / 188 meters) than the Washington Monument (555 feet / 169 meters).
Areva Wind designs, assembles, installs and commissions 5-Megawatt wind turbines for offshore wind farms, a growing international industry. Each turbine can produce enough electricity to power 4,000 to 5,000 homes. Areva also designs and manufactures rotor blades through its subsidiary Areva Blades. Areva Wind is headquartered in Bremerhaven, Germany and Areva Blades is located in Stade, Germany.
Areva is the global leader in the production and operation of biomass power plants with 97 plants worldwide generating 2,900 MW of electricity. Biomass power plant locations include Brazil, Chile, Germany, India and Thailand. The bulk of the company’s operations are through its Brazilian subsidiary, Areva Renewables, which builds biomass power plants based on bagasse (organic waste from sugar cane) and low power hydroelectric plants. In the United States, Areva formed a partnership with Duke Energy in September 2008, named ADAGE, to build and operate 55MW biomass power plants based on clean wood waste collected during sustainable forestry operations. The first biomass power plant was progressing through permitting in Mason County, Washington, but has been terminated.
Hydrogen Power Storage and Distribution
Areva is developing a hydrogen production technology using water electrolysis powered by a clean energy source, such as solar power, to store power in a fuel cell for distribution as electricity when needed. This storage and distribution technology is designed to mitigate the uncertainty of an intermittent energy source, like solar and wind renewable energy. Areva supports ongoing research in this field through partnerships with the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (National Research Agency), the Horizon Hydrogen Power (H2E) program, and ELHYPSE, proprietary research performed with academic partners CEA and Risoe.
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One of Areva's subsidiaries, Euriware (founded in 1991) specializes in computer engineering, and employs 2,100 persons on 14 different sites. As of May 2011, Areva owns 100% of its subsidiary Areva Koblitz. It also owns 25.63% of Eramet, and 1.99% of Safran and 1.41% of Suez Environnement.
Areva is a corporate member of the Bruegel think tank.
Worldwide, the Areva group has an industrial presence in 43 countries and its commercial network reaches more than 100 countries. As of 2010, it employed approximately 48,000 people. In 2006, Fortune Magazine reported that Areva was the "Most Admired Global Energy Company."
In June 2007, Areva announced plans to acquire the African uranium mining company UraMin for a final price of about 2.5 billion USD. This move further beefs up Areva's nuclear business, and Areva plans to increase production to 9 million kilograms of yellowcake by 2012.
Areva owns two mines in Arlit, Niger, where it employs 1,600 people; Niger is the world's fifth largest uranium producer. Nigerien uranium accounts for 30% of French consumption and 32% of Niger's exports, but less than 5% of Niger's GDP. The increase in the cost of uranium on world markets in 2006 (more than 46%) will enable Niger to triple its revenues sourced from Areva.
Up until 2007, Areva was able to enjoy a de facto monopoly in extracting uranium in the country, but under a policy shift by then President Mamadou Tandja, the field was opened to competition and Sino-U, a Chinese nuclear energy company was granted uranium concessions. On 25 July 2007, the CEO of Areva-Niger, Dominique Pin, was expelled from Niger (although he was in Paris at the time) on charges of supporting the Tuareg Rebellion. According to Le Canard enchaîné, this move from Seyni Oumarou's government was motivated by negotiations concerning the uranium trade agreement, which was finally renewed on 1 August 2007. Furthermore, Laouel Kader Mahamadou, who had resigned from his functions as secretary general of the Nigerien government to take a consulting job with Areva-Niger, was asked by the Nigerien DGSE to remain in Niger instead of flying to France for an integration workshop until a "clarification of the situation" could be obtained. The Financial Times described the entry of Sino-U in 2007 as a "battle for resources" between China and France and illustrated a competition view held by some that saw "China’s pursuit of Africa’s resources as a direct – and potentially destabilising – threat to western interests". The country manager for Areva disagreed with this view, stating in the same article that there were many uranium blocks, sufficient to keep both companies busy.
The population of Niger was exposed to a serious famine in 2005. Areva donated €130,000 in June 2005 to the food crisis coordination group of Niger, and €120,000 in July in the form of two planes loaded with food and organized by Bernard Kouchner's Réussir NGO. According to Le Canard Enchaîné, this aid amounted to 0.06% of Areva's annual profits of €428 million.
In May 2013, the firm’s Somair uranium mine was damaged and one civilian was killed in a suicide bomb attack, targeting the firm on the grounds that it was a French-owned company. The mine reached full production again in August 2013.
Areva Resources Canada Inc, created in 1993, is a uranium mining, milling, and exploration company based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Areva Resources Canada has offices and operations in Saskatoon, La Ronge, McClean Lake, Cluff Lake, and in Baker Lake, Nunavut.
- McClean Lake: Located over 700 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, McClean Lake is Areva Resources' flagship operation. Open pit mining began in 1995, and was suspended with the completion of the Sue orebodies in 2008. The JEB mill was recently expanded and upgraded to process ore from other projects, such as Cigar Lake. The McClean Lake operation meets ISO 14001 standards for environmental management, as well as OHSAS 18001 for occupational health and safety management.
- Cluff Lake: In 2002, the Cluff Lake mine reached the end of its uranium production. The Cluff Lake mine produced 62 million pounds of yellowcake over a 22-year period. Since mining ceased, Areva Resources has implemented a decommissioning program to rehabilitate the site. Most of the decommissioning was completed in 2006 after two years of work to fill the open pits, demolish the mill, cover the tailings management area, and reslope and cover waste rock piles. Over 800,000 trees have been planted in this effort. The Cluff Lake operation meets ISO 14001 standards for environmental management; this is the first decommissioning effort to ever receive this certification.
Areva operates as Areva Inc. in the USA, and is present in 40 locations across 20 states, employing nearly 5,000 people. Areva Inc. supplies network products to two-thirds of all US utilities. Moreover, Areva Inc. was ranked the No 1 US supplier in nuclear energy products and services, in Energy Management Systems and in Energy Market Systems. Areva Inc.'s headquarters are located in Charlotte.
In February 2002, the U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced the Nuclear Power 2010 Program, which included plans for two EPRs. On 15 September 2005, Areva and Constellation Energy of Baltimore announced a new joint venture called UniStar Nuclear that will market the commercial EPR in the US.
Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility
Areva Inc., based in Bethesda, Maryland, announced on 2008-05-06 that it will seek all necessary approval to build a uranium enrichment facility in Bonneville County, Idaho, about twenty miles west of Idaho Falls and near the Idaho National Laboratory, with the proposed name of Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility (EREF). Areva had officially announced plans for a US enrichment facility already since 2007.
Planned purpose of the EREF is to provide uranium enrichment services to US nuclear plant operators using advanced proven centrifuge technology developed by Urenco and the Enrichment Technology Company Ltd (ETC), an Areva/Urenco joint venture.
In December 2011, as part of an Areva investment freeze, the company announced a potential delay in construction until a capital solution is secured for the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility. It is now budgeted at $3.2 billion, has a US Nuclear Regulatory Commission license and a $2 billion loan guarantee from the Energy Department. The company, which plans to use centrifuge technology at Eagle Rock, says it will start construction in late 2013 or 2014 instead of spring, 2012.
In China, Areva won an €8 billion ($11.9 billion) agreement to build nuclear reactors, a record for the French company. The long-expected announcement came at the start of formal talks in Beijing between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao.
French, American and Russian suppliers have been vying for contracts in China, which plans to build as many as 32 nuclear plants by 2020 to meet surging power demands while cutting emissions and reducing reliance on imported oil. U.S. and French politicians have been lobbying Beijing hard on behalf of their companies. "When you look at China's energy problems, nuclear energy is not the whole answer, but it is part of the answer," former Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon told a news conference.
The deal allows Areva to "consolidate its presence in one of the most dynamic markets in the world with enormous potential," Lauvergeon said.
State-run Areva said the contract with state-run China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp. was a record for the French company. The third-generation pressurized water reactors, designed by Areva's Framatome subsidiary, would boost CGNPC's output by 3,400 megawatts, Areva said earlier.
The contract also calls on Areva to provide uranium to fuel the reactors through 2026. The reactors are to be built by 2013–2014 in the city of Taishan in Guangdong province, an export manufacturing powerhouse with heavy demand for power and high levels of industrial pollution.
The China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company has enhanced the French 900 MWe three-cooling-loop design imported in the 1990s into the 1,000 MWe CPR-1000 design, which is being quickly deployed with fifteen units under construction as at June 2010.
Some intellectual property rights are retained by Areva, which limits CPR-1000 export potential for China. Areva is reported to be considering whether it should market the cheaper, less sophisticated, CPR-1000 alongside the EPR, for countries that are new to nuclear power.
On 18 December 2008 Areva signed an agreement with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) for the supply of 300 tonnes of uranium to India for power generation, thus becoming the first-ever foreign supplier of Uranium to the country after the NSG waiver.
On 4 February 2009, Areva signed a MOU to supply two to six nuclear reactors to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited. The deal is thought to be worth around 12.3 billion dollars (600 billion rupees), an all-time record for the company surpassing the 8-billion Euro (11.1 billion dollars) deal signed with China a few years earlier. They are also likely to supply fuel for the project which is intended for the western Indian state of Maharashtra and carry out the construction of a 110/11KV Substation for Infopark at Cherthala in Kerala.
In June 2008, Areva reached an agreement with Kazatomprom. The collaboration lead to the creation of a joint-venture Katco which provides 4000 uranium's tones per year. Due to that contract Kazakhstan became one of the three most important partnerships for the group.
In January 2007, Areva was fined €53 million by the European Commission for rigging EU electricity markets through a cartel involving 11 companies, including ABB, Alstom, Fuji, Hitachi Japan, AE Power Systems, Mitsubishi Electric Corp, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Toshiba and VA Tech ELIN. According to the Commission, "between 1988 and 2004, the companies rigged bids for procurement contracts, fixed prices, allocated projects to each other, shared markets and exchanged commercially important and confidential information." Siemens was given a fine of €396 million, more than half of the total, for its alleged leadership role in the cartel.
Areva is not accused of any cartel involvement other than through the acquisition of an Alstom unit in January 2004. "This subsidiary was acquired by the Areva group towards the end of the infringement, in January 2004. The parent entities of the Areva group share a joint liability with that subsidiary for the period after its acquisition." "A few months before the cartel ended, Alstom sold the unit involved to Areva, which knew nothing of the cartel. It [Areva] and Alstom have joint liability for 53.6 million, which they must decide how to split."
On 24 June 2012, an armed group assaulted a uranium plant operated by French nuclear power giant Areva at Bakouma in the southeast of the Central African Republic. A statement by the military described that "a violent clash on Sunday afternoon pitted" Central African troops against "an unidentified group of armed men attempting to launch an assault on the site of mining company Areva".
According to the report the army successfully repelled the attack, but "the enemy did some material damage and pulled back while taking a sizeable quantity mainly of food with them." The Areva group issued no immediate statement regarding the attack. It is speculated[by whom?] that the attack was organized by members of the Chadian rebel Popular Front for Recovery (FPR) led by 'General' Baba Ladde, which is active in the region since 2008. The army says it's conducting further operations to neutralize the remaining armed rebels in the region of Bakouma.
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