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EDF files $8.5 billion claim from state as power prices hit records

Highlights

EDF files claim at supreme court

State plans full renationalization

Market price tenfold ARENH

EDF has filed a legal claim for Eur8.34 billion ($8.54 billion) compensation from the French state for the additional allocation of 20 TWh electricity to be sold in 2022 at the regulated ARENH price, the French utility said late Aug. 9.

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Following an in-depth legal analysis and in light of the losses incurred as a result of the government decree and orders, the 84% state-owned utility filed a claim with Conseil d'Etat, France's administrative supreme court, EDF said.

Unprecedented nuclear outages linked to signs of stress corrosion at a dozen French reactors are set to cut annual nuclear production by over 70 TWh forcing EDF to purchase the additional ARENH volumes on the wholesale market where prices have hit record highs.

French spot power averaged above Eur400/MWh for the first time in July, compared with an Eur229/MWh average for the first six months of 2022, exchange data showed.

Quarter-ahead power traded at Eur903/MWh on EEX Aug. 10.

That compares with the regulated ARENH price of Eur42/MWh at which EDF has to sell 100 TWh/year to domestic suppliers under existing legislation until 2025 with an option for up to 50 TWh extra per year.

To limit the impact of record-high power prices on French consumers, the state ordered EDF to sell an additional 20 TWh at a slightly higher tariff of Eur46.20/MWh starting April 1.

French regulator CRE proposed an additional 30 TWh for 2023 and a price increase to Eur49.50/MWh, while the parliament voted Aug. 3 to cap the additional volumes again at 20 TWh.

French power for 2023 settled at an all-time high of Eur553.50/MWh Aug. 9, EEX data showed.

France plans to fully renationalize the utility and is offering Eur12/share, or Eur9.7 billion, for the remaining 16% stake to help support EDF's plans to develop six new reactors with 9.9 GW capacity, the finance ministry said July 19.