EDF CEO Says U.K. Nuclear Talks Progressing Well Before Decision

Electricite de France SA’s talks with the U.K. over building nuclear power plants are making “good progress” before the company decides whether to go ahead.

“We are in talks on the contract with the British government,” Chief Executive Officer Henri Proglio said today at a renewable energy conference in Paris. “The negotations are progressing well. We have passed many stages.”

Proglio, who heads the world’s biggest nuclear-reactor operator, said three days ago the French utility may drop plans to develop them in the U.K. unless the country ensures projects are profitable. His remarks followed Centrica’s statement that it had abandoned a plan to invest with EDF in the U.K. because of rising costs and delays. Centrica had an option to take a stake in four new reactors at two of EDF’s power stations.

“It’s not a problem,” Proglio said today of Centrica’s decision. “There is no problem for partnership.”

He has previously said EDF held talks on the U.K. projects with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Co. and there are other possible partners. EDF can’t ask partners to join as long as they aren’t “clearly structured,” Proglio said on Feb. 4.

The French utility and U.K. government are negotiating how much EDF will earn for power generated at the new plants.

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