May 20th, 2010 | 7:29 pm

DOE Awards Conditional Loan Guarantee to AREVA’s Eagle Rock Project

The U.S. Department of Energy has offered a conditional commitment for a $2 billion conditional loan guarantee to facilitate financing of AREVA’ s Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility planned for development near Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Graphic representation of the proposed Eagle Rock facility

With this loan guarantee AREVA can secure the financing necessary for this large-scale, capital-intensive project and take the next steps forward with this major investment in the American economy.

This conditional loan guarantee is not a hand-out, but is part of a program designed to provide a federal backstop for companies working to invest and provide important clean energy projects for the United States.

The DOE loan guarantee program was developed to provide a last level of support so that companies can invest in clean energy projects—including smart grids, renewable, and nuclear energy—to spur vital U.S. economic and energy development. According to the DOE, the “loan guarantee program is not intended for technologies in research and development. DOE believes that accelerated commercial use of new or improved technologies will help to sustain economic growth, yield environmental benefits, and produce a more stable and secure energy supply.”

As part of the extensive loan guarantee review process, the DOE performed a comprehensive and stringent analysis which determined that the Eagle Rock project meets the highest standards for its innovative yet proven technology and the project’s creditworthiness.

Designed to meet the current enrichment needs of the nation’s nuclear power plants, this facility will be an essential part of America’s energy infrastructure and support the nation’s energy security. The construction and operation of the facility will also create an enormous economic impact including 4,800 direct and indirect jobs and billions of dollars of investments for the local economy.

However, this only represents part of the total investment AREVA is making in the United States. As the largest American employer in our sector, AREVA is investing today in new facilities, capabilities and employees to help meet our energy needs tomorrow. This includes significant investments for the construction of our heavy component manufacturing facility in Newport News, Virginia, and some $250 million in research and development for the US EPR™ reactor.

For more information see the press release.

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