Story from Bloomberg: H/T Andrew McKillop
“We are considering the possibility of opening a little more the capital of these projects by finding a partner,” Senior Executive Vice President of Finance Thomas Piquemal said today on a conference call. “We are considering a better means to finance them and the best way to attract partners.”
EDF is studying building two new reactors at Hinkley Point in southwest England and a further two at its Sizewell site in eastern England. The decision to seek partners follows a 19 percent jump in debt in the first half and comes four months after German utilities EON AG and RWE AG (RWE) scrapped a British project, saying they couldn’t justify the capital expenditure.
While EDF wants to retain control of reactor ventures in the U.K., that wouldn’t necessitate holding an 80 percent stake, Piquemal said. The company will decide whether to move ahead with new nuclear plants in Britain by the end of the year, Chief Executive Officer Henri Proglio said today.
The U.K. is seeking to revive an expansion of nuclear power to meet energy demand while reducing fuel imports and keeping a lid on polluting emissions. EDF investment would be a boon to the industry after EON and RWE abandoned their project in March.
EDF’s net financial debt rose to 39.7 billion euros ($48.8 billion) last month from 33.3 billion euros at the end of 2011 after spending commitments increased. Investments in France and the U.K., as well as an obligation to finance renewable-power subsidies in France, drove its debt ratio to 2.5 times earnings, the “maximum limit” set by EDF, it said today in a statement.
Read the rest of the story here.