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EDF keeps 2021 French nuclear target at 330-360 TWh; 33 TWh coronavirus impact 2020

Highlights

2020 saw record-low 335 TWh, 62% reactor availability

Hedged 413 TWh nuclear/hydro for 2021 at Eur45/MWh

ARENH reform key, 2030 strategy secured for 2021/22

London — EDF has maintained its 2021 French nuclear output target in a range of 330 TWh-360 TWh after 2020 output fell to a record low of 335.4 TWh, the French utility said Feb. 18.

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Some 33 TWh of the 2020 nuclear decline was directly related to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing a rescheduling of reactor maintenance, it said.

Closure of the Fessenheim nuclear plant and extended outages at Flamanville and Paluel also reduced output from EDF's 375 TWh-390 TWh forecast for 2020.

Reactor availability in 2020 fell to a record low 61.7% (vs 68.6% in 2019).

Hydro output in France last year was up 5 TWh on year at 44.7 TWh.

In the UK, nuclear generation was down 5.3 TWh at 45.7 TWh in 2020.

Overall, the coronavirus crisis impacted earnings (EBITDA) by Eur1.5 billion resulting in a 2.7% on year decline to Eur16.2 billion ($19.6 billion), it said.

For 2021, the 83% state-owned utility forecasts Eur17 billion in EBITDA.

Hedged prices in France, GB

EDF said it had hedged some 413 TWh of French nuclear and hydro production for 2021 at Eur46/MWh, up from Eur45/MWh for 420 TWh for 2020.

These are not average realized sale prices but a reflection of hedging contracts closed ahead of delivery year.

EDF had also sold 126.3 TWh under the regulated ARENH mechanism including grid losses.

The mechanism is capped at 100 TWh at a price of Eur42/MWh for domestic supply competitors of EDF.

French power prices averaged Eur32/MWh in 2020, but the year-ahead contract has risen to a 19-month high of around Eur55/MWh.

For the UK, EDF had 48 TWh of fixed-cost generation hedged at GBP48/MWh, it said.

With regards to a reform of the ARENH, EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Levy acknowledged time was passing in the negotiations between the French government and the European Commission, with 2022 presidential elections now coming into view.