Reopening of the Saint-Avold coal-fired power plant? Not so easy…
The government’s inconsistent actions will cost them dearly. Boulevard Voltaire spoke about it last week: Emmanuel Macron, after years of fighting against coal-fired power plants, has initiated the reopening of the factory in Saint-Avold (Moselle) to compensate for the difficult winter ahead. “We have said from the beginning that the closure of the Saint-Avold power plant is a strategic mistake and must be held in reserve.”regrets Jean-Pierre Damm, FO union representative of the site with our colleagues from the Figaro.
Employees return to coal with a bonus
While the closure was enacted last March, the state has asked the plant’s former employees for help for a period of six months (from October to March 2023). But getting employees on a Employment Protection Plan (PSE) back into work isn’t that easy. “It was necessary to amend the Labor Code under the Purchasing Power Law passed by Parliament in Julyteach us Le figaro. This to enable GazelEnergie [entreprise qui gère le site de Saint-Avold] to temporarily suspend the PSE for a winter for employees interested in returning. » To encourage employees to restart the coal-fired power plant, the unions managed to get a monthly bonus of 5,000 euros on top of their salary.
The prices are rising
Work is good, but money is even better. Except that since the war in Ukraine, the supply of coal has been made more difficult. As a reminder, Russian coal accounted for 30% of French imports before the conflict began. To overcome this lack of resources, GazelEnergie turned to its parent company. This does not prevent inflation; the price of coal has increased sixfold since the beginning of 2021. As if that wasn’t enough, transportation costs have also exploded.
Inflation is also affecting the EDF Group to such an extent that the government was forced to introduce tariff protection in January 2022 to keep prices up. It is therefore a shortfall for the electricity supplier; EDF demands 8.34 billion euros in compensation from the French state. The government’s inability to anticipate a geopolitical disruption as well as an energy curtailment has serious consequences for the French consumer and public finances – which will one day have to be recovered from the taxpayer.