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Britain’s nuclear power project plans in turmoil

EDF turmoil exposes Britain’s reliance on Hinkley nuclear plan, Reuters, 8 Mar 16 LONDON | BY KAROLIN SCHAPS Management upheaval at EDF (EDF.PA) has exposed Britain’s reliance on the French energy group’s ability to deliver a planned 18 billion pound nuclear power plant in southwest England.

EDF CFO Thomas Piquemal quit on Monday in protest over the balance sheet risk posed by the Hinkley Point C project, one of a series of expensive challenges that the debt-laden and state-controlled group faces..

EDF and the British and French governments are saying the project remains on track, but turmoil at the top of EDF could mean a further delay to a plan that is already two years behind schedule……..

When Hinkley Point was announced in 2013, nuclear reactor maker Areva (AREVA.PA) was meant to take a 10 percent stake in the project. EDF has since initiated the takeover of Areva’s struggling reactor business, leaving the French energy giant with a hefty 66.5 percent majority stake.

China‘s General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) has agreed to buy into one third of the project.

The departure of CFO Piquemal was linked to his unwillingness to take on too much risk for a group that has net debt of over 37 billion euros (£29 billion), according to a source close to the matter.

“Piquemal was not the only one in the executive committee to have doubts about Hinkley Point C,” the source said………


March 9, 2016 - Posted by | general

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