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EDF hopes for an agreement in the coming months

More than ten years after the first talks, EDF wants to accelerate the pace in India. And hope to come to an agreement ” in the next months » for the construction of six EPR reactors at the Jaitapur site in the west of the country, a spokesperson argued on Thursday, May 5. As a reminder, a little over a year ago, the tricolor electrician had already submitted a “binding French technical-commercial offer” to the Indian nuclear operator NPCIL, a crucial step on the way to the launch of what the central “ the most powerful in the world

This confirmation of progress in talks, initially reported by BFMTV, comes the day after a visit to France by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, received at the Elysee Palace on Wednesday, May 4.

France remains in waiting room for major contracts in India (armaments, nuclear)

Both countries want the “Franco-Indian strategic partnership, especially in the Indo-Pacific space” and “iintensify contacts in the coming months to make further progress on the EPR project in Jaitapur

Nuclear: EDF Relaunch in India

A file for the long term

Until now, however, the file had crashed. Launched by Areva in 2009 under the chairmanship of Nicolas Sarkozy, it had been acquired by EDF after its competitor went bankrupt. ButThe Japanese disaster in Fukushima in 2011 put an end to this, as did other major nuclear projects.

To this unfavorable context were added the many setbacks of the EPR, this technology launched less than thirty years ago and presented for a time as the flagship of the French civil nuclear sector. Indeed, since the first EPR project, launched in 2005 by Areva in Olkiluoto (Finland), setbacks and budget slippages had piled up. And the second could not have done better: the EPR of Flamanville (Manche) in France, in use since 2007, had multiplied the disappointments, in particular because of anomalies discovered in the composition of the steel of the lid and the bottom of the tank.

This mega-contract in India could thus allow EDF to reconnect with hopes of relaunching sales of these reactors abroad, in addition to the restart on French territory desired by Emmanuel Macron. Mainly because IIt would become the largest civilian atomic infrastructure in the world, with an installed capacity of 9,600 megawatts – enough to power 70 million homes. And that’s not all: EDF would only position itself as a solution provider, rather than as a builder or operator. This would significantly limit the risks for the French giant.

“It’s a way to sell an EHR without bearing the risks of construction,” gave a year ago to Nicolas Goldberg, Senior Manager Energy at Colombus Consulting.

In India, EDF is on track to build 6 EPRs at once… the largest nuclear power plant in the world

Local resistance (seismic hazards, nuclear waste, etc.)

However, this project has been meeting local resistance for years. Critics mainly focus on the risk of earthquakes in the state of Maharashtra, where Jaitapur is located, but also about the consequences for the local fishery of the disposal of nuclear waste.

EDF, for its part, prefers to emphasize the social benefits, believing that the construction of the site will provide employment to tens of thousands of people living on the site.

The project would also bring significant economic benefits to the French nuclear industry over the entire duration of the project – approximately 15 years – with the creation of several tens of thousands of jobs within one hundred companies. reported the group in 2021.

Nuclear: EDF did not return copy on feasibility of building 14 new EPDs

EDF .’s Financial Health Problems

France is also investing more in the atom for the future, as Emmanuel Macron announced last February the construction of six new reactors in France for commissioning from 2035. A mission, linked to the maximum expansion of the fleet, which will be the responsibility of EDF .

Rising electricity prices, which have been going on in Europe for several months, enabled EDF to increase its turnover in the first quarter. It jumped from 22 billion euros a year ago to 35.6 million euros in early 2022, mainly thanks to the 4% increase in the regulated sales rate (TRV) on 1 February. But that’s where the good news ends: the impact of this increase in activity will actually be “limitation” on its Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) 2022, the group warned on Wednesday, May 4.

Energy: EDF bills still weighed down by the anomaly affecting the nuclear fleet

Because the windfall effect from which he could have benefited was soon curbed by the government: the government now requires him to use the Arenh’s device to hold the production he will have in 2022, in order to hold consumer bills. A device strongly opposed by EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy, because it should “cost” him 10 billion euros in lost revenues over the year.

The group’s quarterly results did not reassure the markets. EDF shares fell 2.47% on Wednesday, May 4, mainly due to the prospect of a generic default, the reasons for which remain unknown. A tiny crack recently discovered in three of its reactors of different levels forces it to drastically reduce its production and thereby buy back the missing electrons at exorbitant prices on the market.

What EDF of 14 billion euros amputated in 2022, argued during a meeting with analysts from the group’s financial director, Xavier Girre. A figure that is certainly lower than the 16 billion euros estimated on March 14, but which remains colossal. Especially since the problem may persist as the causes of this unprecedented anomaly remain unknown and raise questions about its possible presence in the park.

EDF reform to finance nuclear energy revival: Paris urgently prepares its plan for Brussels

(with AFP)