EDF pulls financial targets in response to pandemic

15 April 2020

EDF has withdrawn its financial targets for 2020 and 2021 as the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic impacts key areas of its business. In a statement yesterday, the French state-owned utility said these targets include the lower end of the forecast range for its core earnings in 2020 of EUR17.5 billion (USD19 billion).

EDF's Flamanville EPR (Image: EDF)

EDF said on 23 March it would lower its 2020 nuclear power production target of 375-390 TWh, but did not say by how much. On 8 April French transmission system operator RTE said that electricity demand in the country had fallen between15% and 20% since the lockdown.

"The economic turmoil that follows from the current health crisis is causing a drop in power demand and is significantly impacting many of the group’s businesses, namely nuclear generation (which EDF indicates is currently under review and will be adjusted significantly below the initial assumption), new-build projects and services," EDF said. "Consequently, the EDF Group withdraws all its financial targets for 2020, including the lower end of the EBITDA range of EUR17.5 billion, as well as for 2021."

Under the French Energy Transition for Green Growth Law, adopted in August 2015, EDF must close older reactors in order to bring new ones online. Ahead of the start-up of the Flamanville EPR, EDF disconnected France's longest serving nuclear power unit - Fessenheim 1 - from the electricity grid on 22 February this year. Fessenheim unit 2 is scheduled for closure on 30 June.

A new decree - published in the Official Journal on 27 March - postponed the deadline for loading of first fuel at EDF's EPR unit at its Flamanville site in Normandy by four years, to April 2024. Under the currect schedule, the loading of fuel is planned by the end of 2022.

Nuclear currently accounts for almost 75% of the country's electricity production.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News