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Electricite de France, (EDF) loaded with debt and safety problems , gets a new CEO

 The French government has picked a senior Schneider Electric executive to
head EDF as it moves to fully renationalise the embattled nuclear power
operator and seeks an end to reactor outages straining electricity supplies
across Europe.

Luc Rémont is set to become chair and chief executive after
President Emmanuel Macron cleared his nomination at the group, which is 84
per state-owned, the Élysée Palace said. His appointment, still subject
to parliamentary checks, comes as the government kicks off a
nationalisation process.

A €9.7bn tender offer to buy out minority
shareholders could be handed to regulators next week, two people close to
the process said. The management overhaul at France’s former electricity
monopoly follows a fraught search for candidates that underscored some of
the turmoil around a group with huge industrial tasks ahead and that has
long been intertwined with politics.

Run-ins between the government and outgoing boss Jean-Bernard Lévy over some of the company’s operational problems have spilled into the public in recent weeks, in a blame game over
the state of its existing reactors and France’s hesitation to invest more in the sector. Already highly indebted, EDF is gearing up to build at least six new nuclear reactors in France, the biggest order in more than a quarter of a century.

It is still struggling with long delays and cost overruns on existing projects. A record number of outages at its 56 reactors have plunged its nuclear output to 30-year lows, torn a hole in its profits and turned France into a net importer of power in the middle of an energy crisis. On Thursday, a series of strikes over wages further squeezed EDF’s output.

 FT 29th Sept 2022


September 29, 2022 - Posted by | business and costs, France

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