Specific debate in Parliament on the reorganization of EDF, says Pompili



PARIS (Reuters) – The project to reorganize EDF’s activities will be the subject of a specific discussion in Parliament if negotiations on the subject with the European Commission are successful, Minister for Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili said on Wednesday.

The project named Hercules, which arouses strong opposition from unions, provides in particular for a separation between the existing nuclear fleet of EDF and a large part of its activities related to renewable energies, as well as an opening of the capital of the latter.

Its implementation would result from a reform of the regulation of the existing nuclear fleet, known under the name Arenh (Regulated access to historic nuclear electricity), in order to guarantee the coverage of EDF’s costs.

“We are only at the start of the work. At this stage, we have not yet reached a comprehensive agreement with the European Commission and discussions are continuing. It takes time, but it is also because the government is good on the essential points of the project and because we want it to be solid, ”said Barbara Pompili during a debate in the Senate.

“If this negotiation opens the field of possibilities (…), it will never preempt the voice of the elected representatives of the nation and the essential parliamentary discussion on the future of EDF before any reform”, added the minister, specifying that the subject would be the subject of a “specific discussion”.

“No, we are not going to dismantle EDF (…). No, we are not going to dismantle the group either. And yes, of course, we will preserve the status of employees”, also said Barbara Pompili, stressing that the proposed reform aimed to provide EDF with a structure capable of sustaining its activities, increasing its development prospects and financing its growth.

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The minister, who did not provide a timetable for the implementation of the project, also specified that it would have “no impact” on regulated electricity tariffs.

The Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, also assured Tuesday that the transformation of EDF would not lead to the “dismantling” feared by the unions and that it aimed to give the group “the means to develop” , both in renewables and “new” nuclear.

“Today, EDF is going against the wall if we are not able to give it the means to invest,” he also said, stressing that the group’s level of debt was not “sustainable” .

BFM Business reported on Wednesday that negotiations around EDF were giving rise to “extreme tensions” between Paris and Brussels, due to disagreements over the future of the commercial branch and the group’s dams, and that the two parties were now giving each other up. ‘at the end of the first trimester to find a compromise.

(Benjamin Mallet, with Gwénaëlle Barzic, edited by Nicolas Delame)


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