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EDF: French energy group makes a loss of almost 18 billion euros


The standstill of numerous nuclear power plants in France has brought operator EDF a record loss. In the past year, many reactors had to be taken off the grid due to material defects and delayed repairs.

Enlarge image

Switched off EDF nuclear power plant Fessenheim: Almost half of all nuclear reactors from the grid

Photo: Vincent Kessler / REUTERS

The French energy group EDF posted the highest loss in its company history last year.

The minus amounted to 17.9 billion euros, and the debt level had risen to 64.5 billion euros, EDF said.

Reason are massive problems with the nuclear power plants.

"The result for 2022 is severely affected by the decline in electricity production," said EDF boss Luc Rémont.

Reduced production from hydropower due to the summer heatwave and mandatory below-market electricity sales to keep costs down for consumers also contributed to the loss.

However, this is not nearly as high as feared last October.

At that time, the group announced a minus of 32 billion euros for 2022.

Shortly before, Rémont had been appointed the new head of EDF.

The group is majority owned by the state and is to be completely nationalized shortly in order to be able to build up to 14 additional nuclear reactors.

The government in Paris has now expressed its confidence in Rémont.

Economics Minister Bruno Le Maire said that the improvement in the financial situation would be possible primarily through an increase in production.

Last year, half of the country's nuclear reactors were temporarily disconnected from the grid at the same time due to delayed maintenance work and corrosion damage.

This had led to historically low electricity production.

According to the EDF, 16 nuclear reactors are currently affected by corrosion, which has led to fine cracks in the pipes.

Ten of them have already been repaired or are currently being repaired.

The remaining six, including Cattenom near the German border, are to be repaired by the end of the year.

According to EDF, the EPR reactor in Flamanville will continue to increase in price from 12.7 to 13.2 billion euros.

It is to be loaded with fuel rods for the first time in the first quarter of 2024.

Commissioning was originally planned for 2012.

Uniper with a loss of 19.1 billion euros

The German energy group Uniper, which has now been nationalized, also accumulated a loss of a similar amount last year.

The group announced that the minus had amounted to 19.1 billion euros.

This loss is also significantly lower than was feared at times last year.

At that time, Uniper had expected a loss of around 40 billion euros.

But at the end of the year, gas prices fell “significantly”.

In the current year, Uniper expects a better result.

The €19.1 billion shortfall includes around €13.2 billion spent on gas replacement purchases and around €5.9 billion in future losses due to undelivered Russian natural gas, the company said.

The Group's net debt grew from 324 million euros to 3.0 billion euros.

The initially reduced and then non-existent gas deliveries from Russia had brought Uniper to the brink of insolvency.

The group had to meet delivery commitments to its customers and buy gas elsewhere at much higher prices.

As a result, he accumulated billions in losses.

The federal government took over the group in December on the grounds that this would serve the security of energy supply in Germany.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2023-02-17

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