EDF looks for new UK nuclear partners as profits hit $3.4bn

French energy giant EDF is looking into “finding new partners” for its plans to build new nuclear reactors in the UK.

EDF is poised to build four 1600 MW EPR reactors in Britain with Centrica as its junior partner.

The company’s chief financial officer Thomas Piquemal said that while “EDF’s goal has always been – and remains – to be in control of the operations… this does not mean that we absolutely need to control 80 per cent of the projects”.

He added: “This is why we are looking into opening up a little bit more our capital in these projects by finding new partners.”

Piquemal made his comments as EDF today revealed its half-year results, which saw strong performances in its hydropower and renewables divisions compensating for nuclear losses.

The state-owned company posted a 4.6 per cent rise in first-half net profit to €2.8bn ($3.4bn) while net profit excluding non-recurring items was up 10.3 per cent to €2.9bn.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 4.6 per cent to €9.1bn, with sales up 8.2 per cent to €36.2bn.

Sales in France totalled €20.7m, while the company also recorded growth in the UK and Italy.


Mitsubishi Heavy creates new top jobs to tap Latin America and Asia-Pacific

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has created posts of chief regional officers in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific.

The chief regional officer of Latin America will be Yoshihiko Aihara, currently general manager of MHI’s Machinery & Steel Infrastructure Systems division, while his Asia-Pacific counterpart will be Yukinori Horiguchi, presently senior vice-president of Global Strategic Planning & Operations. Aihara will be based in Brazil and Horiguchi in Singapore. They take up their roles on September 1 and October 1 respectively.


Ventyx wins $7m South African deals

Technology company Ventyx has won contracts worth more than $7m to provide software solutions to South African utility Eskom.

Ventyx will install supervisory control software for real-time network monitoring across Eskom’s systems.

It will also deploy its Ventyx Equipment Reliability solution – to help improve processes, equipment reliability and performance within power generation, transmission and distribution operations – at Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear power station.


Aggreko enjoys rising profits but forecasts tougher times

Temporary power supplier Aggreko has reported notably higher profits for the first half of the year, but warned that slower growth in emerging markets could hamper that upward trend.

It is now the leading supplier of temporary power in the world with a market share of 30 per cent and has supported the Glastonbury music festival, the inauguration of President Obama, and this month’s Olympic Games in the UK (see feature, pXX).

First half revenues rose by 16 per cent from $836m a year ago to $1142m, with first half profits jumping from $197m to $247m.

However chief executive Rupert Soames said: “These are numbers that may moderate a bit in the second half, but they are still attractive. We anticipate underlying growth will be lower in the second half than in the first, in part because of tougher comparators, and in part because of continued macroeconomic weakness in some of our larger mature markets.”

The company’s order book climbed 16 per cent in the first half.


Vestas wins first V100 Italian orders

Vestas has received its first Italian order for its V100 turbine.

The company will supply 11 of the V100-1.8 MW turbines, representing a total capacity of 19.8 MW, for the Santa Luce Wind Power Plant Tuscany.

The contract comprises delivery, transportation, installation and commissioning of the turbines, as well as a 15-year service and maintenance agreement.

The order has been placed by Santa Luce, a special purpose company of Italian wind power developer Fera. Previously, Fera has developed other wind farms with Vestas, with a total capacity of 45 MW.


Gamesa sells third Polish wind farm to Germany’s RWE

Spain’s Gamesa has sold Taciewo wind farm in Poland to RWE Renewables Polska, a subsidiary of German firm RWE Innogy.

The deal is Gamesa’s third sale in 18 months of a Polish wind farm to RWE: it sold 14 MW Krzecin wind farm in July and 32 MW Piecki in January.

Taciewo has an installed capacity of 30 MW, comprised of 15 G90-2.0 MW turbines.

Gamesa’s wind portfolio in Poland totalled 786 MW as of June.

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E.ON: E.ON announced that first-half earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation will near $8.3bn, up from $4.3bn a year ago. Underlying net income rose to $4.1bn from $1.1bn a year earlier.

Arise Windpower: Renewables developer Arise saw its share price rise by 6.2 per cent after it signed a contract to take over a 40-turbine wind power project in Sweden.

Rosatom: Rosatom has opened its third office outside Russia, with an eye on developing its business in South Africa, including marketing and promotion of the Russian nuclear technology in the South African market, as well as developing relationships with potential customers, partners, and regulators.

Vattenfall: As part of a “strategic reorientation”, Germany power company Vattenfall Europe AG is to be merged into its immediate shareholder Vattenfall Deutschland GmbH, which will be renamed Vattenfall GmbH.

Vestas: In the second quarter (Q2) of 2012, Vestas produced and shipped 2160 MW of turbines, a 132 per cent rise on the Q1 figure of 931 MW and a 52 per cent increase on the 1417 MW of Q2 2011. Revenue in Q2 2012 was €1611m compared to €1105m in Q1 and €1401m a year earlier.

Eskom: South Africa’s national power utility, Eksom, plans to replace six steam generators at the Koeberg nuclear power station at Western Cape during 2016/17 and requires suppliers to fulfil the objective.

FuelCell Energy: FuelCell Energy Inc has announced that FuelCell Energy Solutions, GmbH (Germany) has sold their first stationary fuel cell power plant, a sub-megawatt DFC250-EU®, to BAM Deutschland AG.

Enel: Italy’s largest electricity company is blaming European austerity for its results in the first half of this year. The Rome-based utility said net profit in the first six months dropped to EUR 1.82bn ($2.24bn) from EUR2.55bn a year earlier.

Westinghouse: Ken Okuda has been appointed vice president and coordination officer for Westinghouse Nuclear Services, replacing Takeshi Tanazawa, who had filled that role since December 2006 and is currently Westinghouse senior vice president and chief coordination officer.