Duratek shares pact on Wis. plant

Columbia firm, Bechtel of Frederick, Siemens to disassemble generator

Nuclear waste

August 03, 1999|By Kristine Henry | Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF

GTS Duratek Inc., a Columbia-based hazardous-waste disposal company, said yesterday that it has won a contract to process metal from a decommissioned steam generator at a nuclear plant in Wisconsin.

About half of the proceeds from the $4.5 million contract will go to Duratek. The other half will be shared by the company's partners in the project -- Siemens Power Corp. of Richland, Wash., and Bechtel Power Corp. of Frederick.

Under the agreement, Bechtel and Duratek will transport the generator from the Kewaunee Nuclear Plant in Green Bay, Wis., to Duratek's facilities in Tennessee.

Siemens will remove radioactive material and Duratek will process the remaining metal, which will be sold for scrap or used to make shields for use by Department of Energy scientists working with radioactive materials. The project is to be completed over three years.

Duratek, which said this is the first time a steam generator will be processed instead of buried, sees large growth potential in this arena: In the United States there are 64 steam generators that need to be disposed of, 25 plants closed for decommissioning and 215 operating commercial nuclear plants.

The company is especially well- poised in the market after its acquisition in June of Frank W. Hake Associates LLC, a privately held nuclear waste processor in Memphis, Tenn.

Duratek paid $13 million in cash and assumed $500,000 in debt for Hake, which had $15 million in revenue last year.

Processing steam generators could bring Duratek an additional $5 million to $15 million a year in revenue, said Bob Prince, president and chief executive.

Last quarter, Duratek reported net income of $1.8 million on revenue of $39 million. For all of 1998, the company had revenue of $160 million and a net loss of $2.43 million.

Duratek stock rose 25 cents in trading yesterday to close at $6.50.

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