Louisiana Energy Services (LES) today announced the resignation of President and CEO Jim Ferland, who will be taking a position with a leading nuclear energy company located in the Eastern United States. Ferland will leave the company at the end of September 2006.
“All of us at URENCO and LES are indeed sorry to lose Jim; he has done a magnificent job in managing LES to its historic receipt of a licence to construct and operate the National Enrichment Facility (NEF) outside Eunice, New Mexico,” said Helmut Engelbrecht, URENCO Group CEO who was in New Mexico this week to begin transition planning.
While a replacement has not been selected, Engelbrecht indicated he is working diligently to find a suitable candidate to fill the vacancy. “URENCO is committed to the continued operation of LES as an open, honest company that is a good corporate citizen, working with our community every day,” Engelbrecht said. “Whoever replaces him in this position will bring that commitment with him or her.”
Ferland joined LES in 2003 and led the company through its successful licensing process. LES has become the first large-scale commercial nuclear facility to be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 30 years and the first ever to receive a combined construction and operating licence.
“This has been an amazing time,” said Jim Ferland, LES President. “I have had the opportunity to work with a team of people that did an amazing job – ensuring we would receive this historic licence from the NRC. The support and friendships I have developed in Lea County and in New Mexico will stay with me for years to come.”
With preparations underway for the facility’s groundbreaking at the end of August, the focus of the company has shifted from licensing to construction and operations. The $1.5 billion NEF project will provide close to 300 fulltime and contract jobs and more than 1,000 multi-year construction jobs in Southeast New Mexico. It will use a proven technology that has operated safely in Europe for 30 years.
When construction is complete, the NEF will operate the nation’s most advanced uranium enrichment facility. This will provide a secure domestic enrichment supply source to US nuclear energy companies who provide 20% of the electricity used in the United States.
LES is a US limited partnership formed to licence, construct, and operate the NEF. As of March 3rd 2006 URENCO is the general partner.