AREVA has sold off its Duisburg, Germany zirconium tube factory used in making nuclear power plant fuel. In a transaction that closed on 1 April, the factory, which has 10 lines and 160 employees, was transferred to new company Duisburg Tubes Production AG, a subsidiary of Munich-based venture capital firm Livia Group. The transaction value was not disclosed, nor were the financial arrangements.

An AREVA spokeswoman said, "The demand for cladding tubes for nuclear power plants in Europe is decreasing. Selling the Duisburg factory was a necessary adaptation of AREVA’s industrial tool to the demand. Our will was to give a sustainable future to the Duisburg plant."

DTP AG said it is looking to find cooperation partners in the tubes industry to explore new markets and products to diversify its core business. The company aims to assume the position of a leading European manufacturer of specialty alloy tubes used in high-tech, industrial applications as well as zircaloy tubes for the nuclear energy industry.

It also said that AREVA will continue to source fixed volumes, although it not quantify the amount of orders.

AREVA operates another zirconium tubing factory in France (Paimboeuf, Loire Atlantique).

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Photo: Part of Duisberg zirconium line