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Friday, December 8, 2023

Eiffage hits the jackpot by winning the construction of the Penly EPR2 infrastructure, much to the dismay of Bouygues and Vinci

Jackpot for Eiffage. The French construction and concessions giant was favored by EDF to carry out the civil engineering work for the two EPR2 nuclear reactors planned for Penly in Seine-Maritime. This pair of reactors will be the first of Emmanuel Macron’s nuclear revival program and will be followed by two others, in Gravelines (North) and Bugey (Ain). Eiffage therefore won over the Vinci-Bouygues duo who joined forces for this call for tenders and will build nearly 70 structures, such as the reactor enclosures, the domes 70 meters high and 50 meters in diameter, the machine rooms, or even the six-story operating buildings. All for an amount exceeding 4 billion euros.

As a reminder, EDF intends to launch the preparatory work for the two reactors in mid-2024, subject to obtaining administrative authorizations, for commissioning no earlier than 2035. This civil engineering work should mobilize nearly 4,000 people at peak. of the construction site. Good news for local employment since “Eiffage will endeavor to irrigate the local economic fabric and to promote local employment and integration”, assures the French construction giant, which specifies that 1.3 million hours will be reserved for the integration and employment of people with disabilities.

An announcement which comes less than a week after the Environmental Authority’s recommendations to EDF to review its copy on the environmental impact study of the preparatory work and the operation of the site (artificialization of the seabed, impacts on the surrounding Natura 2000 sites…). EDF will respond “in the coming weeks,” he said.

Read also: Special report “The revenge of nuclear power”

Bouygues leaves with a head start

The blow is hard for Bouygues and Vinci, who seemed to start with a head start due to their experience in this activity. Particularly that of Bouygues. From the years 1970-1985, the group led by Olivier Roussat carried out all the works in Europe for the French energy company, whether in Bugey, Saint-Alban (AuRA) or Chooz, on the Franco-Belgian border. . Today, he works on the Flamanville site – with the known hazards – and participated in the construction of the Olkiluoto EPR reactor in Finland, put into service in mid-April, after more than 13 years of delay. Know-how that the Bouygues Construction subsidiary exports to China. The French major is present in Daya Bay, in the south-east of the country, near Hong Kong, where it has erected the third reactor in service for two years. Earlier, in January 2017, she had signed with the British subsidiary of EDF a contract worth more than 1.7 billion euros to build two EPR reactors at the Hinkley Point power station (England). Added to this is a strategic partnership with EDF since December 1, 2021 with the signing in December 2021 of a global cooperation framework agreement relating to EPR technology and future projects in the Czech Republic, Poland and Saudi Arabia. For his part, Vinci created the Chernobyl sarcophagus,

However, Eiffage is not starting from scratch in nuclear power. “We have always been active in the nuclear fleet and already work for the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), whether in Cadarache – ITER project – and in Valduc. With this decision affirmed at the highest level of the State to build 6 EPRs, the course is clear and the decision to invest is strong”, declared in September to La Tribune its CEO Benoît de Ruffray.