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French Govt Could Decide on ‘Strategic’ EDF Nationalization This Summer

A renationalization of Electricite de France SA could be decided in the coming months if the current government wins a majority in the country’s National Assembly, a minister has said.

If the coalition backing re-elected President Emmanuel Macron wins a governing majority in second-round voting this weekend, the minister for energy transition, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, will present a policy package aimed at rebalancing and reinforcing France’s energy production this summer as part of an acceleration of the energy transition, she told radio station Europe 1 on Tuesday.

This could include renationalizing energy producer EDF, she said. “The decision isn’t definite, but nor is it excluded,” Ms. Pannier-Runacher said.

EDF is a major producer of nuclear power but its reactors have suffered lower output lately due to problems related to ageing, and the government is looking to reduce the proportion of nuclear energy the country uses in favor of other sources like solar and wind energy. Nuclear energy would probably in this scenario account for less than 70% of the total, Ms. Pannier-Runacher said.

The government, which holds some 84% of EDF’s share capital, will look at the company’s financing needs, she said. “We will consider how to guide this group, which is central to the nation and its energy sovereignty,” she said, adding that this includes working out how to finance the construction of new nuclear reactors. EDF is a “central and strategic” actor in the energy transition, she added.

“If we have a majority in the National Assembly, we will be able to take decisions very quickly,” the minister said.

Shares in EDF gain 0.8% in early trade Tuesday to EUR8.31.

Source: Market Watch