Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
Fri, February 18, 2022, 5:59 AM
Only days ago French President Emmanuel Macron was promising a nuclear renaissance.
He said the country would build six new N-plants to help meet a goal of carbon neutrality.
But the industry might first need some help to stay in business.
The French government said Friday (February 18) that it will boost power firm EDF with about 2.1 billion euros.
That’s close to $2.4 billion.
The fund injection is to ease the financial pain of reactors going offline.
EDF has been hit by technical problems that will require it to shut down most of its nuclear plants for checks and maintenance.
On Friday it said that would cut this year’s core earnings by around $12.5 billion.
And that’s not its only problem.
Paris is also forcing EDF to sell power at below market prices to soften the impact of soaring energy costs on consumers.
The firm says that will knock another $9 billion or so off its earnings.
Now the new funds should plug short-term gaps in EDF’s balance sheet.
Chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy says wider reforms to secure the firm’s future may have to wait until after this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections in France.