French utility EDF’s (EDF.PA) plan to restructure itself will be delayed for at least a few months as it awaits a broader reform of power regulations, the head of state-owned power group said in a letter seen on Friday. EDF was expected to present firm proposals for the overhaul, known as “Project Hercules”, by the end of year after a request by President Emmanuel Macron. The planned restructuring of the heavily-indebted group, which could involve splitting itself in two and setting the nuclear power generation business to one side, has already sparked strong opposition from EDF workers, sparking strikes. In a letter to top company managers seen by Reuters, EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Levy said regulatory reform was essential before the company reorganized itself, altering the timetable for presenting the proposals. “A reorganization without better regulation would not be enough to give EDF the financial means to play its role in the investments necessary for the success of (France’s) energy transition,” Levy said. He said conditions were not yet in place for the reform, which must be discussed with the incoming executive of the European Commission and the French government, and that the situation would be clarified within a few months. The Commission, which regulates state aid and competition in the European Union, had previously approved the power market mechanism through which rivals acquire about a quarter of EDF’s annual nuclear output, at 42 euros per megawatt hour (MW), in a scheme aimed at giving them fair access to nuclear energy. EDF operates France’s 58 nuclear reactors that account for over 75% of its electricity needs.
Reuters 4th Oct 2019 read more »