Friday, July 29, 2016

Hinkley Point, double or EDF – Liberation

The mammoth project at Hinkley Point, piloted by EDF to build two European pressurized reactors (EPR) in Britain, he sounds “renewal and rebuilding the French nuclear” Friday trumpeted as the CEO of the French electrician, Jean-Bernard Lévy? Or threat he rush home EDF “Areva in a kind of abyss” as feared Gérard Mangin, who resigned as director to “not condone “ a project deemed risky and contrary to the energy transition? Following the green light voted Thursday night at Forceps (ten votes to seven against, an empty chair) by the group’s board of directors, the Hinkley Point controversy remains strong in France, as in Britain. So much so that the new British Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced that it would take time for reflection (see cons below) Cold picking the French camp that already had the Montblanc on hand to sign contracts. The controversy exceeds the split between pro and anti-nuclear. Because beyond the French sector of the atom is its credibility, its financial health, its future, EDF plays in this project to 18 billion pounds (21.5 billion euros).

What’s Hinkley Point?

A UK Power station located in Bridgwater, Somerset, southern England. In 2012, during a Franco-British summit, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy Guinea arrowroot there to build two EPR reactors and entrusted the project management of the construction site of the future operator EDF. A logical choice given that the French group is already the operator of the fifteen operating reactors producing 20% ​​of electricity in Britain. EDF is financing the project to 66% (€ 17 billion), the balance back to its Chinese partner CNG. With an output of 638 MWe each 1, Hinkley Point C EPR both are expected to provide to them only 7% of the UK current. And reduce emissions of CO 2 of the country. Their construction, which involve other French as Bouygues, Alstom Power (acquired by the American GE) and Areva of course, is to begin in 2019 with delivery expected in 2025. The site must create 25 000 jobs on site and 4000 in France. Finally, if all goes well.

Why is France more than?

Hinkley Point is, as the boss of EDF, Jean-Bernard Lévy, ” the new frontier “ of the French nuclear industry, which really needs. With these two EPR finished lamentos on the rout of the atom made in France following the near-bankruptcy of Areva early 2015. With the “new nuclear” the lobby at last holds his great project to save the reputation and the use of an industry that employs between 200 000 people in the country. For the previous two EPR came close to the sink. Built by Areva since 2005, the Finnish EPR has seen its costs tripled to over € 10 billion and still not delivered. Led by EDF, the Flamanville in Normandy, whose delivery was scheduled for 2012 but was postponed to the end of 2018, did little better. It was built more nuclear power plants in France for twenty years and it showed in terms of loss of know-how. Especially as the EPR is ultimately a pressurized water reactor improved, controlled technological process since the late 60s.

This industrial defeat forced the state shareholder (85 EDF% and 87% of Areva) to intervene to restart “team France’s nuclear” through recapitalization (5 billion for Areva, EDF 3 billion). The electrician was summoned to resume activity of Areva reactors, whose role will now confine to supply enriched uranium and reprocess radioactive waste. A EDF to play the role of “leader” a nuclear power returned to “offensive and ambitious” dixit Levy. Clearly, no room for error this time the atom is one of the last bastions and French technological reasons of state control successfully Hinkley Point

Y a-. does a bankruptcy threat to EDF?

this is what environmentalists predict and that also fear many executives of the group, some suspected of being members of Greenpeace. The former CFO of EDF Thomas Thornton bluntly resigned earlier this year, arguing that Hinkley Point had “a risk of major construction” and its equity financing threatened the company “Who would bet 60% or 70% of its assets on a technology which we still do not know if it works, then it is ten years since we try to build it?” said Santos during his hearing in the Assembly. The construction period specified, six and a half years, is considered unrealistic by many EDF engineers in view of past abuses. And the internal report “Cardiff” estimated two-year delay would climb the addition of 17 billion euros to 20 billion euros for the company. But management did not budge. Hinkley Point will be a success and a cash machine with 9% return per year. It would be better, because EDF still has a debt of 36.2 billion euros, to invest 51 billion euros in the renovation of its 19 French plants and 23 billion euros in dismantling its old reactors. A financial wall that Hinkley Point a true-or-break.

By the way, this project he will really?

It remains to be seen. The announcement of a postponement of the decision in London in fall give cold sweats to the French. As for now, no binding agreement is signed. The green light from the board of EDF at Hinkley Point is nothing without the go British. And is weakened by two legal proceedings initiated by the Central Works Council (EC) of the electrician, the first to suspend “all the effects of deliberations” the council, which decided launch the project against the consensus of the representatives of employees (hearing Aug. 2); the second for additional information and allow the EC to make a real opinion (verdict on September 22). Management is also under investigation in the stock market watchdog who wants to know if she was not a bit optimistic in its financial communication. EDF did may have not finished with the EPR curse. But if Hinkley Point was not done, it might be an opportunity to finally invest heavily in renewable energy, hoping the Greens. Not even in a dream, so there will be a nuclear power in the heart of power for Lévy Polytechnique and friends of the Corps des Mines, failure is not an option

Jean-Christophe Féraud


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