UK Plans to Move Forward With Urenco Sale

Britain has secured permission from its other partners to sell its stake in Urenco, one of the world's largest uranium enrichment companies.

The UK currently owns a third of the company, according to Urenco's website, with the Dutch government holding Urenco's New Mexico facility. Source: Urencoanother third and the remainder held by German utilities RWE and EON. The UK government had considered selling its stake since at least last year, but any sale would require approval from the company's other shareholders.

On Monday, British officials announced they had received that permission and would pursue a sale, the BBC reported. The company is assumed to be worth about $13 billion in total, and bidders for the UK stake could include Areva, Westinghouse and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. A timeline for the sale was not announced.

In the U.S., Urenco owns a large enrichment facility in Eunice, N.M., originally built by subsidiary Louisiana Enrichment Services. According to Urenco USA, it began operating in mid-2010 and currently has a capacity of 2,000 tSW/a. At full build out, plans call for a capacity of 5,700 tSW/a, which could provide a substantial percentage of the enrichment needs of the U.S. nuclear industry.

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