National Grid, the owner and operator of the high-voltage transmission network in England and Wales has signed a preferred partners agreement with Areva’s transmission and distribution division, in alliance with Skanska and Mott MacDonald.

The alliance will carry out all upcoming transmission substation projects in the South East region of the UK over the next five years with the possibility to extend for a further five years. At more than €4 billion, the contracts will be among the largest ever awarded by National Grid.

The alliance agreements, covering four regions, are part of a new approach taken by National Grid to upgrade and develop the electricity transmission grid across England and Wales. The contracts include works required to connect new infrastructures, such as wind farms.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Areva have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in the area of nuclear energy.

As a first step, the two companies have already agreed to develop a third-generation 1,000 MW nuclear power plant and the agreement covers other fields of possible cooperation such as procurement, services, fuel cycle and new types of reactors.