The struggling French energy giant EDF is set to receive a state bailout worth billions of euros, allowing it to forge ahead with plans to build an £18 billion nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Emmanuel Macron, the French economy minister, dismissed concerns in France and Britain about the high cost of the project to build two nuclear reactors using French technology. Instead, he signalled the French government’s willingness to prop up EDF to enable it to complete the job. “If we need to recapitalise, we will do it,” he said. “If we need to renounce dividend payments again, we will do it.” Details of the bailout are likely to be thrashed out at a meeting between Mr Macron and Jean-Bernard Levy, the chief executive of EDF, in Paris today. Yesterday, Mr Macron was jeered by EDF workers during a visit to a nuclear power station in Civaux, western France. They were angry at remarks he had made, suggesting they accept a pay cut to help to fund the Hinkley project. Mr Levy is understood to be pressing the government to renounce its dividend payments for up to five years, bolstering the group’s balance sheet by about €12 billion . He also wants authorisation to sell a 50 per cent stake in RTE, the high voltage transmission network that is France’s equivalent of the National Grid, for about €3.5 billion. Mr Levy has told staff he will approve the plan to build the reactors at Hinkley Point only if he gets financial support from the French state. Critics in France say that EDF cannot afford to shoulder the lion’s share of cost of the investment. Mr Macron underlined his determination to see the British project through. “Hinkley Point is a beautiful project,” he said. “It is a very profitable project for the next 35 years.”
Times 18th March 2016 read more »
Guardian 17th March 2016 read more »
Daily Mail 17th March 2016 read more »
Telegraph 17th March 2016 read more »
Mr Macron is due to meet Mr Levy on Friday.
FT 17th March 2016 read more »
The Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron was welcomed Thursday by cries of protest and anger of a hundred employees on arrival at the Civaux Nuclear Power Plant (Vienna). Employees, including almost all wore the colors of the CGT union, denounced the remarks made by the Minister on 8 March in the National Assembly who called the company to “collective efforts”. The Minister asserted, however, that the state, which owns over 84% of EDF, was ready to inject money to straighten the EDF group and the government would make its arbitration before the ” beginning of May. ” “If there is need to recapitalize, we will,” he said. “If there needs to further waive dividends, we will,” he added, during his visit.
Le Parisien 18th March 2016 read more »
Les Echos 17th March 2016 read more »
Workers at French utility EDF jeered Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron when visited a nuclear plant on Thursday, protesting over comments they saw as blaming them for financial pressures at the group. The CGT union also renewed calls to delay a 18 billion pound nuclear reactor project at Hinkley Point in southwest England, saying it would put the financial health of the state-controlled company at risk.
Reuters 17th March 2016 read more »
Electricite de France SA still plans to make the final decision to go ahead with an 18 billion-pound ($26 billion) nuclear power plant in the U.K. before its annual general meeting in May, according to three people familiar with the matter. Approval for the project could come as early as this month, two of the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. When asked Thursday if there will be a decision by EDF’s AGM, Chief Executive Officer Jean-Bernard Levy told reporters at the Civaux nuclear plant in Western France that it would come “soon.”
Bloomberg 17th March 2016 read more »
The Energy and Climate Change Committee has called EDF Energy, and other energy companies planning to build reactors in the UK, to Parliament to give evidence on the future of the nuclear industry. Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, Angus MacNeil MP: “The Government is counting on new nuclear to supply a significant proportion of the UK’s demand for low-carbon baseload power in future. The focus right now is on Hinkley Point C but there are other important projects in the pipeline. Serious questions are being raised about the cost and viability of the Hinkley project and the value for money for taxpayers. The Energy and Climate Change Committee will hear from commentators that have raised concerns about financing nuclear projects. We will also question the Chief Executive of EDF and other companies planning to build reactors about the challenges for new nuclear across the UK.”
Parliament 17th March 2016 read more »
The UK’s Energy and Climate Change Committee has called EDF Energy, and other energy companies planning to build reactors in the UK, to Parliament on 23 March to give evidence on the future of the nuclear industry.
World Nuclear News 17th March 2016 read more »
City AM 17th March 2016 read more »
EDF Energy will be giving evidence to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee on Wednesday 23rd March as part of its session entitled “UK New Nuclear Status Update”. The hearing will give EDF Energy an opportunity to answer the Committee’s questions on the investment plans for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. EDF Energy and CGN signed a Strategic Investment Agreement in October for the construction and operation of Hinkley Point C. This partnership was recently approved by the European Commission. EDF has recently confirmed its intention to invest in Hinkley Point C in the near future. Both the French and British Governments have expressed their strong support for the project which will provide the UK with reliable low carbon electricity to meet 7% of its needs.
EDF 17th March 2016 read more »
In response to a growing clamour for Hinkley Point C to be cancelled, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has published a list of five reasons why it is backing the nuclear plant. This is Stop Hinkley’s response. Stop Hinkley Spokespeson Roy Pumfrey says: “This is our rebuttal of some hugely dubious claims by DECC which are about as watertight as a colander.”
Stop Hinkley 17th March 2016 read more »
Delusions or lies? The UK government’s five spurious reasons to back Hinkley Point C. The UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) on 12 March published a short list of reasons why the proposed 3.2 GWs of nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point should be built. The publication, 5 Reasons why we are backing Hinkley Point C, is a mix of truth, unprovable assertions and omissions which could also be construed as lies, writes independent energy consultant Mike Parr. The DECC statement assumes that the problem of intermittent generation plus storage will not be solved any time soon. It also relies on ignorance amongst the UK population with respect to the true state of affairs with respect to dispatchable vs intermittent supply. Did DECC read the interview with Steven Holliday, CEO of National Grid, who said in September last year that “the idea of large coal-fired or nuclear power stations to be used for baseload is outdated” and who said about “intermittent” renewables that “We will have the intelligence available in the system to ensure power is consumed when it’s there and not when it’s not there.”
Energy Post 15th March 2016 read more »