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France considers fully nationalising EDF nuclear energy company

France Mulls EDF De-Listing Amid Nuclear Challenge This was already looking like being a significant year for EDF after President Emmanuel Macron outlined his vision for French energy policy to shift in favor of renewable energy. From the point of view of investors, re-regulating and restructuring the company’s reactor fleet could be a big value driver, Vincent Ayral, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co, said in Jan. 30 research note.If the government opts for nationalization, the process would be long and require the approval of European antitrust authorities, the person said. France would at the same time have to get the region’s regulator to approve new rules for nuclear power because the current system, designed to boost competition in the French electricity market, expires at the end of 2025, the person added.

Last November, Macron said EDF would halt up to 14 reactors by 2035, with the aim of reducing nuclear power to 50 percent of the electricity mix from 72 percent currently. He delayed a decision to build new atomic plants until at least 2021 and presented plans to boost wind and solar. The president also called for a new regulation of EDF’s nuclear power prices to keep electricity bills under control amid weekly protests against energy costs and taxes.

  • Utility needs funds to maintain or replace aging reactors
  • Restructuring could help EDF to meet long-term challenges

The French government is considering buying out minority shareholders of Electricite de France SA, the first step in a corporate restructuring to address the challenge of replacing the country’s nuclear-power backbone, people familiar with the matter said.

The government has asked EDF, of which it owns 84 percent, to propose changes in its structure. The utility’s cash flows are vulnerable to volatile power prices and intensifying competition, and it’s already struggling to fund billions of euros of investments to maintain or replace its aging reactors.

Major Restructuring

Nuclear dominates French electricity supply, but the government wants a change

EDF is likely to be be taken into full state ownership, with nuclear operations being placed in a parent company and other businesses such as renewables placed in units, said one person at the utility, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Nationalization could help the utility cope with the state’s plan to reduce France’s dependence on nuclear power by phasing out some reactors, while also giving it the means to participate in the development of renewable energy, said a person familiar with the government’s thinking.

EDF is likely to be be taken into full state ownership, with nuclear operations being placed in a parent company and other businesses such as renewables placed in units, said one person at the utility, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Nationalization could help the utility cope with the state’s plan to reduce France’s dependence on nuclear power by phasing out some reactors, while also giving it the means to participate in the development of renewable energy, said a person familiar with the government’s thinking.

This was already looking like being a significant year for EDF after President Emmanuel Macron outlined his vision for French energy policy to shift in favor of renewable energy. From the point of view of investors, re-regulating and restructuring the company’s reactor fleet could be a big value driver, Vincent Ayral, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co, said in Jan. 30 research note.

If the government opts for nationalization, the process would be long and require the approval of European antitrust authorities, the person said. France would at the same time have to get the region’s regulator to approve new rules for nuclear power because the current system, designed to boost competition in the French electricity market, expires at the end of 2025, the person added.

Last November, Macron said EDF would halt up to 14 reactors by 2035, with the aim of reducing nuclear power to 50 percent of the electricity mix from 72 percent currently. He delayed a decision to build new atomic plants until at least 2021 and presented plans to boost wind and solar. The president also called for a new regulation of EDF’s nuclear power prices to keep electricity bills under control amid weekly protests against energy costs and taxes.

This was already looking like being a significant year for EDF after President Emmanuel Macron outlined his vision for French energy policy to shift in favor of renewable energy. From the point of view of investors, re-regulating and restructuring the company’s reactor fleet could be a big value driver, Vincent Ayral, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co, said in Jan. 30 research note.

If the government opts for nationalization, the process would be long and require the approval of European antitrust authorities, the person said. France would at the same time have to get the region’s regulator to approve new rules for nuclear power because the current system, designed to boost competition in the French electricity market, expires at the end of 2025, the person added.

Last November, Macron said EDF would halt up to 14 reactors by 2035, with the aim of reducing nuclear power to 50 percent of the electricity mix from 72 percent currently. He delayed a decision to build new atomic plants until at least 2021 and presented plans to boost wind and solar. The president also called for a new regulation of EDF’s nuclear power prices to keep electricity bills under control amid weekly protests against energy costs and taxes

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February 14, 2019 - Posted by | France, politics

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