GE and EDF signed an exclusive agreement on 10 February under which EDF will acquire part of GE Steam Power’s nuclear power activities. The proposed transaction would bring GE’s nuclear steam turbine technology and services expertise to EDF, strengthening its commitment to the nuclear power sector, and creating ‘an industry-leading global steam turbine equipment and services provider within EDF Group’. Today, GE Steam Power’s nuclear steam turbines are installed in half of the world's NPPs, including all EDF’s nuclear plants in France.
The proposed transaction includes GE Steam Power’s conventional island equipment for new NPPs and maintenance and upgrades for existing plants. Significantly, it includes the world’s most powerful steam turbine in operation, the Arabelle. The transaction would also include steam turbine technology for future nuclear plants, such as the next generation of European pressurised reactors (EPR2) and small modular reactors (SMR).
GE would retain a services-focused Steam Power business and continue to provide services for more than 100 GW of nuclear turbine islands in the Americas region, and it also retains GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, a leading lifecycle provider for reactor islands, which will deploy Canada's first commercial, grid-scale SMR. GE plans to continue to invest in next-generation technology, an important component in the energy transition.
The nuclear activities and teams in scope of the proposed transaction are based in about fifteen countries, with nearly 70 % of the workforce in France, including those at GE manufacturing sites Belfort and La Courneuve.
GE chairman and CEO H. Lawrence Culp Jr, said, “This plan supports GE’s efforts to focus our portfolio to be a best-in-class services partner to our Steam Power customers through the energy transition.”
Jean-Bernard Lévy, chairman and CEO of EDF, said: “The climate emergency is reaffirming the role of nuclear energy. This plan to acquire part of GE Steam Power’s nuclear activities including the Arabelle turbine will enable EDF to strengthen its key technologies and skills for the nuclear fleet in operation and for new nuclear projects in France and worldwide.”
Financial terms of the proposed transaction were not disclosed. The proposed transaction is subject to the customary closing conditions, including regulatory requirements, and to consultation with employee representatives. It is expected to close in the first half of 2023.