October 24, 2008
Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in nuclear plant component JV with AREVA
Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, a sector of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is taking a 33% stake in a joint venture with international nuclear power plant manufacturer AREVA.
AREVA Newport News, LLC will establish a world-class facility to manufacture heavy components for the U.S. EPR, AREVA's Generation III+ nuclear reactor.
The 300,000 square-foot facility will be located next to Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va. Construction is expected to begin early next year and represents an investment of more than $360 million in the U.S. commercial nuclear and manufacturing industries. It will bring more than 500 skilled hourly and salaried jobs to Virginia.
AREVA Newport News will be the first full-scale manufacturing facility dedicated to supply heavy components, such as reactor vessels, steam generators and pressurizers to the U.S. nuclear energy industry. These components will supply the first new U.S. nuclear power plants to be built in 35 years.
Industry experts have viewed limited production of heavy components positioned against rising demand as a constraint on nuclear energy's expansion.
"This relationship capitalizes on Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding's century-long history of quality craftsmanship, skilled engineering and program management expertise building large nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy," said Mike Petters, Corporate Vice President and President Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. "Our shipbuilders embrace the opportunity to apply their considerable skills and training to a growing U.S. energy sector, backed by the pro-growth environment of the Commonwealth of Virginia, employing the same dedication and commitment to domestic energy security that has been applied to national security."
Northrop Grumman's Shipbuilding sector brings its heavy industrial engineering and manufacturing expertise and the culture of excellence required to build U.S. Navy nuclear ships to the venture. Along with its skilled workforce, Northrop Grumman has existing transportation access via the James River to deliver heavy components.
"AREVA Newport News is powerful evidence of the reality of the U.S. nuclear energy resurgence and our commitment to it," said AREVA CEO Anne Lauvergeon. "AREVA intends to build one-third of all new reactors around the world and at least seven in the United States. AREVA Newport News is a key step in our dual strategy to increase domestic content in the new nuclear power plants we build and to produce in dollar area. Together with our Chalon/St. Marcel plant in France, AREVA strengthens its capabilities to supply the global energy renaissance."
AREVA has been manufacturing quality heavy components for the global commercial nuclear industry for more than 30 years at its Chalon/St. Marcel plant. Together with Northrop Grumman's experience, AREVA Newport News will provide a secure domestic link in the supply chain for deploying the U.S. EPR.
"The nuclear power industry is bringing back 'made in America,'" said Tom Christopher, CEO of AREVA Inc., the group's North American division. "In addition to our joint venture with Northrop Grumman, we are working with Lehigh Heavy Forge in Bethlehem, Pa., to produce qualified forgings for the U.S. EPR, further strengthening the U.S. manufacturing sector. Each new Generation III+ nuclear power plant in the United States will create thousands of jobs and many more will be generated as industries gear up to supply the materials and components."
"This agreement is the result of several years of effort by both the AREVA and Northrop Grumman teams," said Dan Arczynski, Vice President for Strategy, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. "The relationship that has formed between our great companies is grounded in similar cultures of heavy manufacturing excellence. This new venture will be good for both of our companies, the Commonwealth of Virginia and City of Newport News, and the future of manufacturing in America."
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Newport News to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Timothy M. Kaine approved $3 million from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Newport News with the project. Governor Kaine also approved a $1.5 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. The company qualifies for a Major Business Facilities Job Tax Credit and road access funding from the Virginia Department of Transportation.