While the French government and EDF are preparing to refloat the Areva holding a virtual bankruptcy, employees, taxpayers and users are asked to pay for restructuring at several billion euros of the French nuclear industry. Meanwhile, faced with an unprecedented internal sling, EDF has once again postponed the final decision to build two new EPR reactors in the UK at Hinkley Point – a project that seems more and more like a headlong rush with incalculable consequences . From France to China, Britain to India, the clouds gather for the French nuclear industry. On Wednesday, January 27th, the Council of Ministers approved the principle of a recapitalization of Areva amounting to EUR 5 billion to enable it to overcome the profound industrial and financial crisis through which it passes. While she struggles with the takeover of Areva and its problems of nuclear safety at Flamanville and EDF also finds parallel faces the moment of truth for its other flagship project, the construction of two EPR reactors at Hinkley Point , south-west of Britain. The board of French energy giant had planned to take last week’s final investment decision – last step before the point of no return – constantly postponed for many months. Finally, due to the accumulation of difficulties, this decision was again postponed. EDF, which probably did not need to take on the problems of Areva, now seems to operate on the edge of financial disaster, nuclear proselytism of France abroad no longer seems very advantageous, if it ever was, for French citizens themselves.
Observatoire des Multinationales 2nd Feb 2016 read more »
French state-owned bank Caisse des Depots (CDC) could buy a stake in EDF power grid unit RTE, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday. “Infrastructure and network investors such as Caisse des Depots (CDC) could take part in the opening of the capital of RTE,” Macron was quoted as saying in an interview with French daily Le Figaro, published on its website. French state-controlled utility EDF owns 100 percent of its high-voltage transmission grid unit RTE, which operates independently of its parent company under EU unbundling rules that do not allow utilities control over their networks. Markets have long speculated about a partial sale of RTE which is valued at 6 to 7 billion euros in EDF’s accounts and whose 100,000 km high-voltage network is Europe’s biggest. A partial sale could be used to fund EDF’s capital-hungry nuclear projects, including an 18 billion pound plan to build two nuclear reactors in Britain and a 55 billion euro plan to upgrade its ageing French nuclear fleet.
Reuters 2nd Feb 2016 read more »