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Natural Resources Canada
2011/57
June 29, 2011

Government of Canada and SNC-Lavalin Group Reach Agreement on AECL CANDU Reactor Division


OTTAWA The Government of Canada has reached an agreement with SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. under which the Canadian engineering firm will acquire the CANDU Reactor Division of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL).

Under the terms of the agreement, SNC-Lavalin, through its wholly owned subsidiary CANDU Energy, will take over the CANDU Reactor Division’s three business lines: services to the existing fleet, life-extension projects and reactor new builds.

“The CANDU commercial reactor business will benefit greatly from SNC-Lavalin’s entrepreneurial capacity and global scale,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources. “The transaction will place CANDU technology in proven, competent hands to be serviced and deployed in Canada and abroad, meeting energy needs and stimulating a supply chain located largely in Canada.”

“As one of the world’s largest engineering/construction firms with offices in over 35 countries worldwide, we’re looking forward to developing new business opportunities using CANDU’s renowned technology on projects around the globe,” said Pierre Duhaime, President and CEO, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. “We’re also very happy to welcome the new employees this acquisition will bring to our ranks, and to work together to realize our vision for this industry.”

The Government of Canada will retain ownership of all CANDU intellectual property, while providing an exclusive licence to CANDU Energy to grow its business. In addition to an upfront payment of $15 million from SNC-Lavalin, this will create an opportunity for Canadian taxpayers to benefit from royalties on future sales of reactors, future life-extension projects and certain products and services.

The transaction is part of a necessary restructuring amid challenging domestic and international developments and is consistent with the overall Government approach to fiscal responsibility. It is a critical step to strengthen Canada’s nuclear industry while reducing taxpayers’ exposure to nuclear commercial risks.

It’s expected that approximately 1,200 jobs will be protected at the closing of the transaction.

The Government of Canada will continue its role in maintaining safety, security and environmental stewardship in all aspects of the nuclear industry. Canada's nuclear regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, will continue to oversee all parts of the entire nuclear industry in this country.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

The Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin will acquire the CANDU Reactor Division of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited under an agreement with the Government of Canada. The transaction will strengthen Canada’s nuclear industry while reducing taxpayers’ exposure to nuclear commercial risks.

Media may contact:

Julie Di Mambro
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

or

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447

The general public may contact:

Mon.–Fri., 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)
E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

The following media backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:

  1. The Transaction Agreements
  2. Government Funding for AECL Commercial Activities
  3. Nuclear Safety and the Divestiture of AECL’s CANDU Reactor
    Division

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media/index-eng.php.