EDF Stalls on U.K. Nuclear Decision Citing Profitability Concern

Electricite de France SA, Europe’s biggest power generator, is holding off on a decision to build atomic plants in the U.K. until it’s sure they’ll be profitable, Chief Executive Officer Henri Proglio told shareholders today.

“We won’t go without the formal conviction that we can guarantee the profitability on your investment,” Proglio said at an annual meeting in Paris, where the utility is based. EDF maintains “strong interest” in pursuing the projects, he said.

A decision on building two new reactors at Hinkley Point in southern England has been delayed from the first quarter as EDF negotiates a guaranteed power price with the U.K. government. The utility is demanding at least 95 pounds ($144) a megawatt-hour for 40 years, while the government says it’s seeking value for money for consumers.

“Negotiations are ongoing in a good climate,” Proglio told reporters after the meeting. While the price remains to be agreed, “many things are resolved,” he said.

The reactors would be made by Areva SA and have a total capacity of 3,260 megawatts, enough to supply 5 million homes for 60 years.

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