EDF negotiate for more funding for Hinkley Point C

EDF is negotiating with the French government to obtain further financial support for the Hinkley Point C project in the UK, EDF chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy has said. A review of the project has identified areas where the project could further be de-risked, he said.

In an 11 March letter to EDF staff, Lévy said: “In recent weeks, our group has been the subject of much debate, especially around the renewal of our nuclear fleet and the construction of two EPR reactors in the UK at Hinkley Point C. As you know, the financial context is challenging, and this issue deserves to be clarified.”

He said he remains confident that EDF can “manage very large projects that are the pride of communities who value our commitment to public services, and that reflect our industrial excellence and competitiveness.” However, he noted that low electricity prices have impacted the group’s finances. “To enable us to secure our financial goals and to stem the growth of our debt, we are engaged in an efficiency program,” he said. “For the first time in many years, in 2015 we lowered our operating expenses. We will continue on this path, and we will also proceed with the sale of non-strategic assets.”

Lévy told EDF staff that the company is in discussions with the French state “to obtain commitments allowing us to secure our financial position”. He stressed, “It is clear that I will not engage EDF in [the Hinkley Point C] project before these conditions are met.”

The French government – EDF’s majority shareholder – has already agreed that its dividend for 2015 will be paid in shares and not cash. This represents additional capital of €1.8 billion ($2.0 billion) for EDF.

Courtesy of WNN – Full story