French nuclear group Areva is planning to create a new company which will focus on nuclear fuel for power plants.

Created through a partial contribution of Areva assets as part of the company’s restructuring plan, the new entity, New CO, will include uranium mining, enrichment and waste recycling.

Areva CEO Philippe Knoche said: "Today, we present the roadmap for Areva’s continued transformation. This program defines the major stages necessary to the creation of New CO, a separate new entity refocused on the Mining, Front End and Back End operations.

"Pursuant to strategic choices concerning the nuclear industry, the roadmap specifies the conditions for the transfer of Areva’s reactor-related operations to EDF and the refocusing of our group on fuel cycle management."

Areva said that the restructuring plan is intended to reduce debt, fund operations and complete the delayed Hinckley Point C nuclear plant in Finland, reported Bloomberg.

As part of this effort, Areva is also planning to sell assets including small-reactor maker Areva TA and Canberra, a unit of Areva SA, for €2.9bn.
It is also considering selling most of its reactor business to state utility Electricite de France (EDF) in 2017.

Areva said that a total of €5bn for capital increase would be divided between Areva and New Co in early 2017.

Knoche added: "By means of the solutions it can provide for uranium supply, for its conversion into fuel, and for nuclear fuel recycling, waste management and dismantling, NEW CO will be in a good position to grow in global nuclear markets.

"The strengthened capital structure, the new industrial plants, and the reinforcement of New CO’s technology and innovation base will underpin this strategy."

Upon completion of the process, the French State is expected to hold at least two thirds of New Co’s capital while the remaining will be held by strategic investors.