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EDF will need financial support for 6 new reactors – CEO

EDF will need financial support to raise the tens of billions of euros needed to build a nuclear programme that includes six new generation EPRs in France, the CEO of the French state-owned company said late on Wednesday.

“The amounts to be raised on the financial markets are colossal and exceed the capacity of a company, even one that is 100% state-owned, to raise under today’s financial market rules,” Luc Remont told a parliamentary hearing.

Last month, French newspaper Les Echos reported EDF had upped the estimated cost of building six new reactors in France by 30% to EUR 67.4bn.

EDF’s expenditure on the EPR programme will reach EUR 3bn by the end of the year, Remont said, adding the firm had already spent EUR 2bn.

These figures remained “sustainable” provided the nuclear programme goes ahead, he said.

Remont called on the French state to work on a financing mechanism that would attract enough investment for the construction costs of the French EPRs, in reference to the regulated asset-based financing tool being used for the Sizewell C nuclear unit.

However, EDF is heavily indebted due to its existing projects in France and in the UK.

The CEO said the firm is hoping to make a final investment decision and get the go-ahead from Brussels in 2025.

EDF aims to build six and possibly 14 new reactors by 2050, with construction due to start at the Penly nuclear power plant on the Channel coast by 2027.

Source: Montel