The German engineering and electronics manufacturer Siemens is selling its 34 per cent share of Areva NP, the joint venture that it has with the French state-owned Areva. Areva NP is dedicated to the construction of commercial nuclear reactors.
Under the share agreement, the Siemens share will be bought out by Areva itself.
The badly delayed third reactor at the Olkiluoto nuclear plant in the west of Finland is one of the projects of Areva NP.
Siemens said in a statement put out late Monday evening that its minority holding significantly reduces its room to manoeuvre in the joint venture.
To attain more wiggle room, the German company is looking in the other direction. According to Reuters, Siemens is setting up a joint venture with the Russian state-run Atomenergoprom. Siemens did not confirm this.
Siemens’s share of Areva NP is worth EUR 2.1 billion. “Siemens is investigating all possibilities to continue in the nuclear power business”, the company’s statement said.
The Siemens and Areva joint venture has had serious problems in Olkiluoto. The project has been delayed, and the installation will not be ready before 2012. It is also generating considerable losses for the builders.