Fresh doubts about how EDF will pay for plans to build an £18 billion nuclear power station in Somerset pushed the energy group’s shares to a new low yesterday. Board members of the company, which has debts of 37 billion euros met to sign off its accounts. These are expected to show a sharp deterioration in profits when they are released today because of a decline in wholesale energy prices. Power prices in France have declined by 23 per cent over the past three months, reflecting a fall in commodities prices. On Saturday, Moody’s placed EDF on review for a possible downgrade. “The rating review reflects EDF’s exposure to a weakening power price environment,” the ratings agency said. “A prolonged period of low power prices will further affect EDF, given its exposure to market-exposed generation activities . . . These pressures may further exacerbate the risks associated with the Hinkley Point C project.” The plan to build at Hinkley Point is not thought to have been discussed at length during the board meeting. EDF’s board deferred a final investment decision on Hinkley Point last month. Mycle Schneider, a nuclear industry consultant based in Paris, said that financing doubts and EDF’s heavy debt load were complicating the board’s final investment decision on Hinkley Point, which could take several more months. Opposition from French energy unions and the collapse of Areva, the French reactor designer whose technology had been earmarked for use at the power station, have added to the challenge, he said. “There are huge doubts over the future of this project,” Mr Schneider said.
Times 16th Feb 2016 read more »
Letter Roy Pumfrey: IT is clear that Stop Hinkley Campaigners are not the only ones calling on EDF Energy to abandon Hinkley Point C. We are calling on EDF to scrap these plans as soon as possible so that communities in Somerset can get on with planning a sustainable energy future. The Government should stop taking UK energy policy down this nuclear cul-de-sac and get on with implementing a sensible renewable energy strategy.We have written to EDF we have asked them as the managers’ union CFE-CGC, which has a seat on EDF’s board, has voiced its concern about the significant financial issues raised by investing in Hinkley Point C and says such a huge commitment could put the very future of EDF as a company in danger. The Association of Employee Shareholders (EAS) – has asked for the project to be halted.
Bridgwater Mercury 15th Feb 2016 read more »
A NUMBER of anti-nuclear campaigners protested outside EDF’s Cannington offices this morning (February 15) against the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power plant in Somerset. They scaled the outside walls with ladders at around 11am, security closed the doors and put the whole place in lockdown. The protesters blocked the front doors with around 30 taking part inside and outside of the walls to the building. The police attended but the protest was peaceful and allowed to continue and the campaigners left a short while later.
Western Gazette 15th Feb 2016 read more »
EDF will not discuss whether to invest in a nuclear power station at Hinkley Point at today’s board meeting, it is being reported, as the energy giant faces pressure to abandon the plan altogether. As activists this morning occupied EDF’s office in Cannington, near Bridgwater, Reuters reports that the French company has not put the investment decision for its plan to build two nuclear reactors near the town on the agenda for today’s meeting. Meanwhile, The Independent reports that the board of the company has received a report warning that the nine-year timetable to complete the two nuclear reactors would be impossible to meet. The newspaper also reports that EDF’s internal report suggests the project would be financially disastrous for the company.
Central Somerset Gazette 15th Feb 2016 read more »
In an article dependent on the group yesterday, titled “Panic on the UK EPR”, the “JDD” evoked a sling that goes up to the group, the CFE-CGC union, regular moderate, considering that Hinkley Point might simply to “kill the group”, not hesitating to raise the specter of the “bankruptcy” … remember that Christopher Bakken, responsible for EDF’s UK nuclear project at Hinkley Point, just left the French electricity to join the American Entergy. Mr. Bakken, a US citizen, will return to the United States to become the head of the nuclear segment in Entergy starting April 6, said the American group. As managing director of EDF Energy, EDF’s UK subsidiary, Christopher Bakken flying since 2011 the Hinkley Point C project in south-west England. His departure fueling the controversy, to the extent that the proposed Hinkley Point is increasingly criticized because of the financial risk that poses to the French public electrician.
Boursier 15th Feb 2016 read more »
An occupation of EDF’s site office for Hinkley C turned into a celebration today as the EDF Board postponed its ‘final investment decision’ for the tenth time. With strong opposition among French unions and the project afflicted by severe technical and financial problems, it’s not just Hinkley that’s going down, but the UK’s entire nuclear programme.
Ecologist 15th Feb 2016 read more »
EDF has bought itself some valuable time over its decision about whether or not to build a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point. The energy giant said it was going to be extending the life of four of its nuclear power stations in the UK. Heysham 1 and Hartlepool will now stay open for another five years, until 2024; whilst Heysham 2 and Torness won’t shut until 2030. The decision means several thousand people will stay in work. More significantly perhaps, it also helps ease some worries that Britain may struggle to keep the lights on in the future, by ensuring plants which generate about a quarter of electricity in Britain are going to stay open, at least for now. But whilst the decision might offer some short-term relief, that is all it is able to do and we are still no nearer to finding out what will happen over Hinkley Point.
Spectator 16th Feb 2016 read more »
There is still no clarity on whether the Hinkley Point development will go ahead, a decision on which was meant to take place this week but appears to have been kicked into the long grass yet again. As City A.M. reported yesterday, it was not on the agenda at the board meeting – despite contractors being told in January that they should restart work. In its statement, EDF said it was considering “bringing other investors into the project”, but would not reduce its stake to less than 50 per cent. It currently owns 66.5 per cent of the development, while China’s state nuclear firm owns 33.5 per cent. Before a final investment decision is taken, EDF said it would need to finalise its financing plan and contribution by CGN of guarantees for its own financing; receive approval by the both boards; receive clearance by merger control and other governmental authorities in China and Europe; and finalise contractual documentation based on agreements signed in October 2015.
City AM 16th Feb 2016 read more »
EDF said it was committed to being the UK’s leading investor in low carbon electricity, adding in a statement: “That means safely extending the lives of existing nuclear power stations and investing in renewable wind energy. “It also means making the big investments necessary to launch a renaissance in nuclear new build at Hinkley Point in Somerset.” The statement continued: “Further major progress was made in 2015 on plans to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset, notably with the signing of the Strategic Investment Agreement between EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) in October. “Hinkley Point C is a strong project which is fully ready for a final investment decision and successful construction. Final steps are well in hand to enable the full construction phase to be launched very soon.” Last night, Greenpeace projected a huge picture of Chancellor George Osborne wearing a hard hat sporting the EDF logo on to the House of Commons and the Treasury, with the words “Let it go, George everyone else has #LetHinkleyGo”. Greenpeace policy director Doug Parr said: “EDF’s accounts show growing debts and falling earnings. EDF management and employees warn taking on further risk could easily spell disaster for the company. Hinkley is a bad investment and most people with an ounce of financial acumen have now come to realise this. “George Osborne stands alone in defending Hinkley’s honour. He needs to let Hinkley go – everyone else has. The nuclear industry has usually promised far more than it has delivered and the debacle over the Hinkley reactor shows little has changed. “Hinkley will be one of the most expensive objects on earth and George Osborne is happy to force this year’s school leavers to pay over the odds for it until they are about to draw their pensions But wind and solar power could be subsidy-free well before Hinkley could ever come on stream.”
Western Daily Press 16th Feb 2016 read more »
The Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce is getting restless. Not about the EU, not about interest rates, and not about business rates. It’s about the delays to Hinkley C. The chairman Steve Leahy said: “We believe when the final investment decision (FID) is made business boom. We were told early January but early January has come and gone. I’ve had discussions today about it and made enquiries but we can’t get any news of the decision.” He said many firms in the area were in a state of limbo waiting for the FID but there were other projects that were helping to see growth in the town and district.
Bridgwater Mercury 15th Feb 2016 read more »
The Stop Hinkley Campaign will be holding a peaceful protest at 1pm today outside EDF Energy’s offices in King Square, Bridgwater and delivering the attached letter. Campaign Spokesperson, Roy Pumfrey said: “It clear from the press today (1) that Stop Hinkley Campaigners are not the only ones calling on EDF Energy to abandon Hinkley Point C. We are calling on EDF to scrap these plans as soon as possible so that communities in Somerset can get on with planning a sustainable energy future. The Government should stop taking UK energy policy down this nuclear cul-de-sac and get on with implementing a sensible renewable energy strategy.”
Stop Hinkley 15th Feb 2016 read more »
Stop Hinkley’s letter to EDF Energy.
Stop Hinkley 15th Feb 2016 read more »
French energy utility EDF saw 2015 net profit plunge 68 percent on asset impairments and cut its dividend, but the state-controlled company said it remained committed to the UK nuclear power plant project at Hinkley Point.
Reuters 16th Feb 2016 read more »