Energy giant explains why France faces power shortage
French state energy firm EDF said this week that it expects much lower electricity production due to maintenance of nuclear reactors this year, which will cost the company approximately $29 billion in pretax earnings.
According to a company statement, 26 of EDF's 56 nuclear reactors are currently offline, partly due to corrosion issues. The firm, the world’s largest operator of nuclear plants, estimates it will produce “on the low end of a range between 280-300 terawatt-hours” of electricity from its operating nuclear plants this year, which is a 30-year low for French nuclear power output.
EDF executive director Cedric Lewandowski told lawmakers this week that five reactors are to restart in September, and the rest are expected to gradually go online by February. However, the company still forecasts its nuclear output to be below 2021 levels (360 terawatt-hours) in both 2023 and 2024.
EDF is currently in the process of being fully nationalized. The French government, which already owns 84% of the company’s shares, made an offer of €9.7 billion ($9.7 billion) to nationalize the power provider in July to save it from mounting debt.
According to reports, EDF could owe over €60 billion by the end of the year.
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