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on 09/22/2021 at 11:54 a.m.

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EDF announced on Wednesday that it had opened discussions with General Electric on a possible transaction concerning the nuclear activities of GE Steam Power.

EDF confirms that it has opened discussions with General Electric on a possible transaction concerning the nuclear activities of GE Steam Power.

“In the normal course of its activities, EDF is constantly evaluating its strategic options. GE being one of EDF’s key partners in the nuclear industry, EDF is currently analyzing the conditions under which the interests of the EDF group could be preserved, “the French group said in a statement.

The Arabelle steam turbines, produced in Belfort on a former Alstom site bought by GE in 2015, constitute most of the activities that could be taken over by EDF.

“I am satisfied that the negotiations have started, I called this redemption of my wishes for many months”, declared to AFP Damien Meslot, the LR mayor of Belfort, city where the activities of GE Steam Power are located. “I will be extremely attentive to the scope of the takeover, whether it is large enough to ensure the sustainability of activities and jobs in Belfort”.

This announcement was greeted with caution by the unions. These are “2,000 people out of 11,000 who may be lucky to leave GE,” a union source told AFP, referring to the various social plans that have followed one another at General Electric in recent years.

“Now we have to look at the industrial project,” added the same source, estimating that the takeover of GE Steam Power’s nuclear activities by one of its customers “risked” losing contracts with other customers, and was therefore associated with a “risk of social breakage”.

GE itself bought the energy branch of Alstom in 2015, which included its nuclear activities. At the time, the American group had 16,000 industrial jobs in France (excluding GE Capital), according to management figures, and promised to create an additional 1,000. But in five years, the workforce has fallen to 13,000, after asset sales and reorganizations.

In December, GE Steam Power initiated a new reorganization, which initially provided for 238 job cuts, a figure that had dropped to 144 in the spring.

In March, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, had declared, in the columns of the Republican East, to seek “a French solution for the Arabelle turbines”, produced by GE. “This solution will make it possible to secure this unique asset, the skills that go with it and which are essential to our energy future”.

General Electric
EDF
Alstom

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