BNFL talks Turkey over joint venture

British Nuclear Fuels will become involved in the construction of nuclear power stations under the terms of its proposed tie-up with Germany’s Siemens. It would supply fuel rods. BNFL would take half of Siemens’ 50% stake in Nuclear Power International, the latter’s joint venture with France’s Framatome, which has submitted the lowest of three bids […]

British Nuclear Fuels will become involved in the construction of nuclear power stations under the terms of its proposed tie-up with Germany’s Siemens. It would supply fuel rods.

BNFL would take half of Siemens’ 50% stake in Nuclear Power International, the latter’s joint venture with France’s Framatome, which has submitted the lowest of three bids for Turkey’s first nuclear plant.

TEAS, the Turkish national power utility, disclosed that NPI’s £1.47 bid for a 1,482MW pressurised water reactor undercut rival Canadian and US proposals by £104m and £540m respectively. TEAS aims to sign a contract in June 1998.

This would represent a significant expansion of BNFL’s involvement in the nuclear industry. It has traditionally focused on fuel and decommissioning services. The company is also expected to take over the operation of Britain’s oldest Magnox nuclear stations before the end of the year.

Siemens and BNFL are negotiating combining the former’s nuclear business which includes fuel fabrication and new plant construction with the latter’s fuel supply business.

John Taylor, BNFL’s chief executive, observed: ‘These talks aim to evaluate the possible benefits of a merger which could lead to winning new business.’

A Siemens spokesman said the joint venture would assume the Siemens stake in NPI. He said BNFL’s expertise in fuel reprocessing and decommissioning would be the main advantages it would bring to NPI bids for projects, with clients who were increasingly looking for a comprehensive life-of-plant service.

While those aspects of BNFL’s business would not be included in the deal, the Siemens spokesman said the venture would make it ‘easier to cooperate with the remainder of BNFL’.