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Electricite de France fined for lying about Hinkley nuclear project, faces costs and delays due to pandemic

Bloomberg 30th July 2020, Electricite de France SA was fined 5 million euros ($6 million) by
France’s markets regulator for providing false information on the Hinkley
Point C nuclear project. EDF and former Chief Executive Officer Henri
Proglio, who was fined 50,000 euros, failed to properly disclose new
circumstances concerning the U.K. project’s financing, the Autorité des
Marchés Financiers said in a statement on Thursday.
In October 2013, EDF
announced it would build the U.K.’s first nuclear reactors since 1995
after reaching a deal with the government on guaranteed prices for the
power they’d generate. The energy firm also said the project would
benefit from a British credit guarantee on conditions that were yet-to-be
agreed. EDF and Proglio should have specified in a statement a year later
that there had been significant changes on the guarantees, the AMF said.
EDF and its current CEO Jean-Bernard Levy were cleared of a second
accusation brought forward by AMF investigators. The AMF’s enforcement
committee assesses civil market-abuse cases ranging from insider trading to
publishing misleading information.
Electricite de France SA said it’s
facing delays at the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant as the coronavirus
pandemic hampered work on-site and hit supply chains. The largest and most
advanced infrastructure project in the U.K. will miss three key milestones
this year, one of them critical — risking the 2025 completion deadline.
EDF plans to make up time by the end of 2021 but the threat of a second
wave of coronavirus and lockdowns could cause more long-term set-backs.
“We’ve absorbed a lot of factory delays but we had some margin in our
program to do so,” Hinkley Point C’s managing director Stuart Crooks
said in an interview on-site in the southwest of England. EDF still expects
Hinkley to be finished on time.
The French utility is working on the
assumption that the virus peters out by the end of the year so supply
chains and work at Hinkley can return to normal. There are about 4,500
staff currently on the site that covers an area equal to 245 soccer fields.
Initial plans were to ramp-up the number of workers to around 6,000 but
that depends how long social distancing rules stay in place.

August 1, 2020 - Posted by | France, Legal

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