SPIE awarded new contract thanks to its business integration process

Published on 11 December 2020

Cergy, 11 December 2020 – SPIE Nucléaire, a French subsidiary of the SPIE Group, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, is stepping up the development of the companies integrated into its activities by creating an ambitious integration department that is highly committed to its teams. Under the direction of Benoit Chardenal, this approach is proving its worth: MMC (Maintenance Mesure Contrôle), a company integrated in 2017, has just been awarded a national contract by EDF (Electricité de France) for pipe freezing operations in France’s nuclear power stations (a process used during maintenance activities).

A new technology for sealing pipes in the nuclear sector

MMC has just been awarded a national contract for pipe freezing operations for the 900 MW, 1300 MW, 1450 MW and EPR units of France’s nuclear power stations. “We are very proud of the trust that has been placed in us and that enables us to operate in a market that allows the deployment of cryogenics and the full range of SPIE Nucléaire’s expertise”, explains David Calisti, head of the department responsible for MMC activities.

Pipe freezing by means of cryogenics, commonly known as “freeze plugging” or “ice plugging”, is a technique that makes it possible to create one or more temporary isolation devices in order to carry out work on equipment or a section of pipe that cannot be isolated for technical, safety, security, environmental or radiation protection reasons. In nuclear power stations, pipe freezing dispenses with the need to drain certain critical circuits, making them completely unavailable, and this can represent a significant saving in time and money during a unit outage. This creates a major strategic challenge for nuclear power stations.

MMC’s very strong technical expertise in acoustics and thermography facilitates reliable control of the “ice plug” during maintenance. “It’s a global solution that we developed thanks in part to the technical resources made available by SPIE Nucléaire and supported by its integration department. The combination of our expertise in cryogenics and SPIE Nucléaire’s expertise in piping has enabled us to offer a complete and convincing response”, explains David Calisti.

Strengthening its skills by integrating cutting-edge expertise

Created just two years ago, the integration department stems from the desire to make the most of the synergies identified within the companies acquired by SPIE Nucléaire”, explains Benoit Chardenal, Director of Integration at SPIE Nucléaire.

From the very beginning of the acquisition process, the dedicated teams were very attentive to MMC’s integration into, and adaptation to, the SPIE group.

This department forms part of a “win-win” philosophy. The companies acquired benefit from SPIE Nucléaire’s tools and know-how in terms of safety and methods. For its part, SPIE Nucléaire strengthens its value proposition to its customers. Three companies have been integrated into SPIE Nucléaire so far: ATMN Industrie (a company that specialises in assembly and cleaning for industrial customers in the petrochemical, refinery, pharmaceutical and nickel refining sectors and has been managing maintenance contracts for the latter for several decades), MMC and Fluigetec (specialises in the installation, control and maintenance of gas distribution networks in industrial environments, with particular know-how in the nuclear sector and recognised expertise in inerting systems).

We have set up a particularly virtuous long-term integration and support system. We offer these companies the opportunity to continue to grow their business and strengthen their expertise, while giving them access to SPIE Nucléaire’s methods and resources. This creates the best conditions for companies to develop new solutions and continue to innovate, as shown by MMC with its ice plugs”, adds Benoit Chardenal.