A Chinese investment in France’s highvoltage network would be a sensitive issue and utility EDF’s grid unit, RTE, is not in talks with Chinese counterpart China State Grid as part of a plan to open its capital, RTE’s chief executive said. State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) has invested in power grids in southern Europe and utilities specialists say the Chinese network giant is looking into all investment opportunities in EU networks. The French government has asked EDF, which is 85 percent state-owned, to sell up to half of its 100 percent stake in electricity transmission network operator RTE in order to help finance a project to build nuclear reactors in Britain.
The UK’s decision to leave the European Union will have no impact on EDF’s plans to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, the company’s chairman has said. EDF chairman Jean-Bernard Levy said the company’s business strategy for the £18bn plant was not based on the UK’s membership of the EU and would therefore not change. The French energy giant is overseeing the delivery of the much-delayed Somerset project, which has so far failed to secure a final investment decision. Mr Levy said a devalued pound would not dent EDF’s ability to fund the project.
The French state plans to keep two thirds of the capital of a new nuclear fuel company that will be split off from nuclear group Areva and will invite strategic investors to buy a one third stake, Areva said on Wednesday. As part of a restructuring under which 87 percent state-owned Areva will sell its nuclear reactor unit to state-owned utility EDF, Areva will hive off its uranium mining, nuclear fuel production and recycling, and decommissioning activities into a new company, provisionally named NewCo. Areva will complete the operation in the second half of 2016 and has started talks with its unions about the restructuring.