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France's EDF warns of strikes at remaining coal plants

Singapore — French utility EDF warned of possible strikes at its three remaining coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 1.8 GW this winter, it said Wednesday in a note on EDF Transparency.

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"In the current context of the legislative process leading to the adoption of the PPE law, [unrest is] likely to happen at Cordemais 4, Cordemais 5 and Le Havre 4 units from now on until the end of the first half of 2019," it said.

The French government plans to unveil by end-October the first draft of the PPE, an energy roadmap for the coming decade with specific targets for the power mix for the 2018-23 and 2024-28 periods.

French President Emmanuel Macron plans to fully exit coal before the end of his term in 2022.

EDF modernized its remaining coal units in 2015 and 2016 under the "Coal 2035" program, but may now be forced to convert to biomass or waste with first proposals presented this summer.

France's other two remaining coal plants are operated by Germany-based utility Uniper, which has now put its entire French operation under review due to the planned coal exit.

Uniper's 600 MW Provence-5 and 600 MW Emile Huchet-6 coal units have also been impacted by industrial action over recent years.

-- Andreas Franke, andreas.franke@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Maurice Geller, newsdesk@spglobal.com