French bid for Emirates nuclear plant at risk

PARIS, FRANCE - A French attempt to win a $41 billion contract to build nuclear power stations in the Emirates is at risk over pricing, the La Tribune newspaper reported.

The newspaper reported that the top official at the presidential Elysee Palace, Claude Geant, had held a meeting with the heads of big French companies concerned to discuss a further reduction in the price which the government in Abu Dhabi considered too high.

Present at the meeting were the head of French nuclear power group Areva, Anne Lauvergeon, the head of GDF Suez, Gerard Mestrallet, Christophe de Margerie who leads oil group Total and Henri Proglio of the electricity group EDF, the report said.

The report said that the bidding consortium comprising these companies and the U.

S. firm Bechtel were handicapped by the fall of the dollar.

The report said that a few days ago, under political pressure, the partners had reduced the price of their offer to build new-generation EPR (European pressurized reactor) power stations by 10 percent.

This was because the offer was considered too high by comparison with bids by competitors.

The rival companies are Hitachi of Japan which is allied with US group General Electric, and the South Korean company Kepco working with another South Korean group, Hyundai.


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