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France's EDF extends strike warning to next Thursday

London — French utility EDF has been notified of a three-day strike to start Monday evening, it said Friday.

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The news broke with the current 24-hour strike that started Wednesday evening still ongoing Friday.

The next strike is set to start Monday at 9 pm local time (2000 GMT) though to Thursday 9 pm, EDF said.

No details were given of which sites could be affected or the likely impact of the action.

This week's strike reduced conventional generation by around 8 GW. Strong wind and hydro offset any shortages with net exports barely dented and power prices bearish, system data showed.

Nuclear output was ramped down to 46 GW Thursday after peaking at 53 GW Wednesday with at least eight nuclear power plants impacted by strike action.

Friday's output peaked just below 50 GW with output reductions reported at Gravelines, St. Alban and Cruas until Friday 10 pm local time, EDF said on its transparency website.

French unions have staged a wave of national strikes against planned pension reforms, with EDF workers also protesting attempts by the government to restructure the company, potentially splitting off non-nuclear operations.

Presentation of plans to split the company are to be delayed until the summer after ministers and EDF managers debated project Hercule in the French parliament Thursday.

"They confirmed that that discussions are ongoing with the European Commission regarding the re-regulation of EDF's nuclear activity (Arenh) and with unions to ensure internal acceptance of the reforms," analysts at BNP Paribas said in a note Friday adding that the timeline might slip further.

Meanwhile, EDF delayed the planned return of its Cruas 1 reactor by a further three days to January 18. The unit was expected to return before Christmas and is one of 10 delayed by maintenance overruns that saw EDF's Q4 French nuclear output fall to a record low.

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

--Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter, jonathan.carter@spglobal.com