French electricity major EDF and nuclear engineering company Areva have signed a uranium enrichment contract worth more than E5 billion to address EDF’s enrichment service needs.

According to the company, the services will be provided by Areva’s future Georges Besse II (GBII) centrifugation enrichment plant. Located on the Tricastin site in the south of France, GBII has been under construction since September 2006, and at around E3 billion reportedly represents one of France’s biggest industrial investments of the decade.

Areva and EDF’s partnership goes back to their first agreement, signed in 1975. Since it first started supplying EDF with enriched uranium in 1979, Areva has helped the utility meet a portion of its needs.

Francois-Xavier Rouxel, executive VP of Areva’s enrichment business unit, said: “EDF’s trust demonstrates the attractiveness of Areva’s services.”

Earlier in January this year, Areva and the Swiss electric utility, KKL, signed a contract, aimed at providing KKL with casks for the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel from the Leibstadt power plant (Switzerland). The contract helps  Areva for the supply of casks for transportation and interim storage of nuclear material. It is to be applied for the duration of the power plant’s operation, resulting in all spent fuel being removed, with these operations to continue until 2049.