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Suez looks to UK, Romania, Bulgaria for nuclear projects

French energy and utilities company Suez, which plans to merge with Gaz de France (GdF) in the H1 of 2008, is interested in building and operating nuclear power plants in the European Union, the company reaffirmed.

Suez CEO Gerard Mestrallet, who is set to lead the future GdF-Suez combine, confirmed Monday at a joint conference with Gaz de France CEO Jean-Francois Cirelli, that the company is examining opportunities in Bulgaria, Romania and the UK, a company spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday. Mestrallet did not exclude the possibility of building a European pressurized reactor (EPR) in France, the spokeswoman added.

The EPR was principally developed by Siemens of Germany and French state-owned nuclear services and engineering company Areva. Suez is able to build and operate nuclear power stations and is interested in expanding in both areas, the spokeswoman said. The company has said it is “actively participating in the nuclear energy revival in Europe.” Like Electricity de France (EdF), which is positioning itself as a contender to build reactors in the UK, Suez said it has close links with Areva. While the French state owns most of EdF, it also will hold a controlling minority stake in the future GdF-Suez. (marketwatch)