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EDF Power Output Hit by Strike Over Annual Pay Talks

  • Spot electricity price reaches six-week high in France
  • Strike started Wednesday, will last until Friday evening

French spot power prices reached a six-week high on Thursday as output was curbed by an Electricite de France SA strike over pay.

The labor action curbed hydropower production by 150 megawatts on Thursday morning, and output was also lowered at the Belleville 2 nuclear reactor, according to EDF regulatory notices. Those both eased later in the morning.

Notice of the strike was given on Wednesday night and it will last until 9 p.m. Paris time on Friday, EDF said. The utility warned that a further reduction was possible because of flow rates forecasts on the Rhone river.

“We’re holding annual wage talks at the industry level today, so we’re calling for action today and tomorrow,” Fabrice Coudour, a union leader at the energy branch of the CGT union, told Bloomberg in a text message.

EDF said there are also likely to be restrictions on production at its Saint-Alban nuclear plant from Thursday due to flow-rate forecasts on the Rhone River. The output curbs may reduce France’s exports to neighboring countries just as the heating season in Western Europe approaches.

Electricity prices for Thursday, set in auction on Wednesday, reached €124.78 per megawatt-hour on Epex Spot SE, the highest since August 23. Prices for Friday almost halved from that level to €69.53 in Thursday’s auction.

Source: Bloomberg