France to nationalise energy giant EDF
France plans to fully nationalise debt-laden energy giant EDF, prime minister Elisabeth Borne announced on July 6, in order to give the government greater control over its restructuring amid the continuing energy crisis.
EDF is already 84%-owned by the state, and is set to play a central role in the government's push to expand nuclear power generation in order to reduce reliance on energy imports and ease prices. But the company has been beset with problems in recent years, from delays and cost overruns at new nuclear power projects in France and the UK, to a recent bout of outages across much of its fleet of existing stations.
"I confirm to you today that the state intends to control 100% of EDF's capital," Borne said in a policy speech in France's lower house of parliament.
In addition to nuclear outages, France is also contending with a sharp reduction in Russian gas supplies, after Gazprom last month cut flow via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The Russian supplier cited technical difficulties as the reason, relating to Siemens' failure to return compressor station equipment sent off for repairs, due to Western sanctions. But European leaders have dismissed the cut in supply as politically-motivated.