The French electricity group planning to build an £18 billion nuclear plant in Britain is locked in a damaging row with its majority shareholder, the state. Relations between EDF and President Hollande’s government have soured after the socialist leader promised to close the ageing Fessenheim nuclear power station in Alsace, eastern France. The debt-ridden EDF is demanding at least 2 billion euros in compensation for shutting the plant. Segolene Royal, the energy minister, has offered 100 million. Mr Hollande promised to close the plant as part of a commitment to reduce France’s dependence on nuclear power. The rift comes with EDF struggling to overcome internal opposition to its plans to build two reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Critics, including Thomas Piquemal, its former financial director, say that the company cannot afford its planned two thirds share of the Hinkley Point investment. Their case will be strengthened if Jean-Bernard Levy, EDF’s chief executive, loses a battle with Mr Hollande and Ms Royal over Fessenheim. Mr Levy says that lost revenue from Fessenheim’s closure is likely to reach as much as 3 billion over the next two decades and argues that he has a duty to minority shareholders to obtain compensation from the government. Ms Royal responded: “The chief executive of EDF says that 100 million is a pittance. I think that the French people . . . do not have the same view of money as him.” She said that Mr Levy had agreed to shut Fessenheim when he was appointed in 2014. “The decree to stop the functioning of Fessenheim must be taken by the end of the year. And I have no reason to doubt the word of the chief executive of EDF who, when he got the post, assured me that it would be done,” she said.
Times 20th June 2016 read more »
The chief executive of energy giant EDF Energy has written to his UK staff outlining what he says are the benefits of continued EU membership. Vincent de Rivaz says remaining would benefit the UK economy, but that Brexit could mean “Break It” for the EU. EDF Energy employs more than 13,500 people across the UK.
BBC 19th June 2016 read more »