EDF executives have been called back to parliament to explain why they have further delayed making an investment decision on a planned Â£18bn nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. MPs on the energy and climate change committee want to hear from EDF chiefs after the French economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, said the final decision could be delayed until September – four months later than expected. Angus MacNeil, the chair of the committee, said: “When EDF appeared before us in March, company bosses were insisting that a decision would be made in May. At that hearing, we said that we would call them back in if that timetable slipped again and that’s what we are doing now.” The committee said it expected the hearing to take place in late May. “If Hinkley does not go ahead, it could have huge implications for our future energy security and efforts to cut climate-changing emissions. We will therefore be watching progress on this closely. If we have to see EDF back here in September as well, we will,” MacNeil said.
Guardian 26th April 2016 read more »
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Bridgwater Mercury 26th April 2016 read more »
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Parliament 26th April 2016 read more »
Electricité de France is over-indebted, up to its neck in project delays and, as of Friday, scrambling to sell €4 billion ($4.5 billion) of new shares and €10 billion of assets to strengthen a balance sheet undermined by a collapse in earnings. About the last thing that it needs is a new €15 billion millstone around its neck. But that is what it appears destined to get. Over the weekend France’s Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, whose government owns 85% of EDF, insisted that a much-delayed plan to build two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in the U.K. would be approved in September. The Paris-based group’s net debt pile of more than €37 billion, combined with the collapse of energy prices, which pushed earnings down 68% in 2015, has left the company in a precarious financial situation. Without a sharp, and currently unforeseen, increase in energy prices it will struggle to maintain its current A- credit rating, maintain its dividend and meet new investment commitments to the Hinkley Point project. EDF shares tumbled as much as 8.6% early Monday before recouping some ground to trade at €11.35, down €0.89, or 7.3% by late morning. Despite the falls, Exane BNP and Jefferies International still thinks it looks expensive. Exane BNP on Monday trimmed its price target 2% to €10 per share. Jefferies said it believes the shares are worth about €7.50 each.
The Street 25th April 2016 read more »
EDF’s share price falls 11% as investors react to the firm’s cash-raising plan that will help fund the Hinkley nuclear plant.
Sky News 25th April 2016 read more »
A legal opinion by Monckton Chambers said the French government’s reported refinancing plans for EDF could constitute state aid and require approval by the European Commission. The investigation would take around a year and even then, approval is unlikely to be granted, they added.
City AM 26th April 2016 read more »
The U.K. government must lay out specific options to fill a looming energy shortfall after Electricite de France SA delayed a decision last week on whether to build Britain’s first nuclear power plant in 30 years, the opposition Labour Party said. “The letter that Amber Rudd put out last week was really concerning, because essentially she was arguing that the government’s plan B would be to find a way to meet security of supply by abandoning the climate-change commitments,” Nandy said. “That would be an astonishing position to be in just a few months after we signed the Paris Agreement.” Public support for Hinkley has fallen, with 33 percent favoring the project, according to a YouGov Plc poll on Tuesday for New Nuclear Watch Europe, a pro-nuclear industry group. That’s down from 57 percent in 2013. Those opposing the project rose to 22 percent from 15 percent. The poll of 2,049 adults also found that half said French companies shouldn’t be allowed to build and operate a U.K. nuclear power station, and 67 percent opposed Chinese involvement. Nandy also said: While research money pledged by the government for small modular nuclear plants is “really welcome,” the government must explore other nuclear technologies too. Onshore wind and offshore wind have a “significant role” to play; It’s “crystal clear” the world is on a pathway away from fossil fuels. The government should plan for that and start equipping high-school children with skills they’ll need to help develop the technologies of the future; Tidal power is “potentially very significant” and could help revive the economy of South Wales; The government needs a new plan for carbon capture and storage after it “pulled the rug out” by canceling a competition to develop the technology.
Bloomberg 26th April 2016 read more »
Energy Voice 26th April 2016 read more »
Public support for Hinkley Point C waning, according to a YouGov poll commissioned by New Nuclear Watch Europe which found a 74 per cent decrease in support for plans to build the new nuclear power station in Somerset.
Utility Week 26th April 2016 read more »
Molly Scott-Cato, the Green Party MEP for the South West, said: “Waiting for Hinkley is a bit like waiting for a delayed train. Just as you think it might arrive, the time of arrival if put back again. “Well this particular train has hit the buffers. In fact the project is completely derailed as EDF cannot build Hinkley without state aid. But getting the project back on track with government subsidy would breach EU state aid rules,” said Dr Scott Cato, who has repeatedly attacked the project. “I expect this will be the last delay announcement and that the project will be shelved in September.”
Plymouth Herald 25th April 2016 read more »
France’s energy minister Ségolène Royal has backed union demands for the EDF’s Hinkley C project in Somerset to be re-examined, write Angelique Chrisafis & Chris Johnston – adding that the project must not go ahead if it would ‘dry out’ funds needed for EDF’s renewable energy program.
Ecologist 8th April 2016 read more »
An anonymous letter from managers at French energy firm EDF brought the Tories’ plans for a new nuclear plant even further into question last week. EDF is supposed to be building the plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset with a consortium of construction companies and funding from a Chinese state-controlled firm. Both the Tories and the French Labour-type government are scrabbling to stop the complex arrangement unravelling. The letter warned EDF’s directors that they could be liable if pushing ahead with the project damages the firm. It adds to a growing rebellion in EDF against Hinkley Point after finance director Thomas Piquemal resigned last month over his concerns. Three of the main unions at EDF have opposed the plan, breaking with a history of industrial peace. One has even threatened to strike.
Socialist Worker 26th April 2016 read more »