EDF attacks a decision taken by… the state

An appeal by a state company against a decision of the state. The screenplay is not trivial. It is the showdown that EDF is entering into with its main shareholder (84% of the capital). Alors que ce dernier compte l’obliger, comme annoncé en janvier et formalisé par décret le 11 mars, à vendre davantage d’électricité à bas prix à ses competitors afin the limiter l’augmentation des tarifs, le fournisseur pastorique ne ne to do. And is indeed combative in the face of a measure that its CEO, Jean-Bernard Lévy, immediately described as ” real shock in a letter to executives.

And rightly so, this Thursday May 12, on the occasion of the General Meeting of Shareholders of the Group, he announced his intention to launch a ” fair help Against the device, to which the State has two months to respond.

As indicated in its press release of January 13, 2022, EDF will take all measures to preserve its rights it deems useful in connection with the said decree of March 11, 2022 and with the three decrees supplementing the mechanism in question . In this regard, EDF, subject to terms of time limits preserving its rights, has addressed a non-controversial appeal to the State requesting the repeal of these four laws. In any case, EDF reserves the right to address the competent administrative courts,” the company specifies.

This measure, which requires the production of 100 terawatt hours (TWh) sold under the Regulated Access to Historic Nuclear Electricity (ARENH) to be increased by 20%, would in fact cost him dearly: EUR 10 billion short in my view. latest EDF estimates I presented at the beginning of May.

And this, even though the company is facing a corrosion defect identified in several of the fleet’s reactors, forcing it to shut down some of them and drastically cut its production by 2022. where the company must invest tens of billions to expand existing power plants and prepare for the construction of new EPRs.

Electricity prices: “After fighting it”, EDF saw the state’s decision “as a real shock”, says CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy

A rejection of the unions’ request by the Council of State

After the publication of the decree, the federations CGT, CFE-CGC, CFDT and FO in the energy sector, dthe members of the Board of Directors and representatives of employee shareholders had asked themselves the emergency suspension ofs regulatory texts that organize what they consider to be a looting of EDF But last Friday, the preliminary relief judge of the Council of State decided to keep the device and confirmed that neither the investigation nor the hearing showed that this measure has created an emergency situation for EDF’s financial interests, the working conditions of its employees or the financial interests of its employee-shareholders

“The Council of State rejected the request because it was not an urgent need to suspend this decision, but rather the need to maintain it pending a decision on the merits,” CFE Energies said on Monday.

The fact remains that in its opinion the Council of State was of the opinion that the measure was a ” public interestIn a context of significant price increases, the increase in the volume of Arenh should make it possible to significantly limit the increase in electricity prices said the judge.

A necessary device according to the government

For its part, the executive had accused EDF of loading the boat with its losses, assuring that the sale of the additional 20 TW of ARENH to its competitors would not in itself cost the public company” only about 3 billion euros The remaining 7 billion euros missing from EDF’s EBITDA would thus be due to the slightest rate increase as a result of government action.

Is it a public service, to help the French, or a company whose sole purpose is profit? I choose the first answer “, added the Economy Minister, Bruno Le Maire, on January 25 into the microphone of FranceInfo

An argument shared by Jean-François Carenco, chairman of the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE). Indeed, the senior official had come to the aid of the government by confirming in late January that EDF’s drop in Ebitda was not “ not desirable but essential “, since without state intervention, the regulated rate would have risen to 44.5% for individuals on February 1, instead of 4%.

“What counts are the consumers, industrial and domestic. How can we ridicule the consumer? Yes, the Ebitda, the margin, was down 8 or 9 billion. […] Except that for 2022 they come in slightly lower than they had planned in 2020. It is not true that we loot EDF, they will just have less to gain. […] Can EDF say “I could have won 8 billion”, and meanwhile companies are closing? It is not possible. EDF is not threatened with closure,” he stormed into FranceInfo’s microphone.

What will the real impact of the increase of the ARENH ceiling be for consumers?