The renationalization of EDF on the right track

Another step towards renationalizing EDF. MEPs on Tuesday backed the state’s funding of 100% of EDF, a €9.7 billion operation aimed at getting the group out of its financial and industrial rut. The Assembly adopted these appropriations in the context of the examination of the draft amending budget for 2022 by a vote of 209 to 156. Overall, the assembly approved a budget of 12.7 billion euros for possible operational support for strategic French companies.

The government already owns 84% ​​of EDF and intends to launch a public takeover bid (OPA) that is due to end at the end of October. This return of the state to 100% in EDF was announced on July 6th by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.

The renationalization should allow the heavily indebted group to borrow at lower cost and give the state free rein to reorganize it at its own discretion without having to report to minority shareholders – EDF will no longer be listed on the stock exchange. This will be done via a public purchase offer (OPA) of the 16% of shares not held by the state, typically by the end of October.

critical episode

This renationalization comes at a time when the energy company is going through a critical phase: the state intends to make it the “armed arm” of greening its energy policy and conquest of greater sovereignty in this area, while it finds itself in an extremely deteriorated financial situation .

Burdened by a debt that could reach more than 60 billion euros by the end of 2022, the electrician’s financial situation faces further strain from the government’s decision to sell more cheap electricity to its competitors to protect electricity bills. At the same time, EDF faces the difficulties of maintaining an aging nuclear fleet: more than half of its 56 reactors are shut down for maintenance or due to recent corrosion problems.

In the plenary hall, Economics Minister Bruno Le Maire particularly emphasized the “restart of the nuclear program in France” with six new EPR reactors. “Nuclear energy has suffered terribly from the abandonment of the industry in recent years,” he added in a rowdy atmosphere. “Private investors will not finance the six new reactors”, “Programs with insufficient profitability. When it comes to the long term, the best investor is the public investor,” he argued.

“All Nuclear”

Ecologists and LFI voted against, castigating “all nuclear weapons.” Like others, they called for a “major debate before national representation on France’s energy future”. The RN was also against it.

The general rapporteur Jean-René Cazeneuve (LREM) insisted on the future energy planning law “before the middle of next year” and Bruno Le Maire underlined his readiness for debate.

energy independence

These difficulties, coupled with the aftermath of the war in Ukraine, have brought the issue of energy sovereignty back to the fore, especially with the European and French goal of rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

To ensure energy independence while allowing France to phase out fossil fuels, President Emmanuel Macron has announced the launch of a program of six or even 14 new-generation EPR nuclear reactors, in addition to the only model currently being built in the country , in Flamanville (Manche). The renationalization of EDF is therefore only the start of a comprehensive reorganization project that has the unions fearing a resumption of construction of the Hercules project, which was suspended last year.

This project, intended to allocate resources by listing EDF’s renewable energy activities and improving nuclear power remuneration, was seen as a dismantling by the unions. A vision questioned by the executive, which has also repeatedly affirmed that this old project is “obsolete” and finally buried.

Kaddouri Ismail

I am Ismail from Morocco, I work as a blogger and online marketer. I am also the founder of the “Mofid” site, in which I constantly publish many important articles in the field of technology, taking advantage of more than 5 years of experience working in the field. I focus on publishing in a group of areas, the most important of which are programming, e-marketing, digital currencies and freelance work.

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