EDF’s Wholesale Nuclear Price Kept Unchanged as Revision Delayed

Electricite de France SA, the country’s biggest power utility, will continue to offer wholesale nuclear energy at 42 euros ($58) a megawatt-hour after a planned revamp of the way the price is set was delayed.

The revision is under way and won’t be completed by the end of the month as planned, a French government official said today, asking not to be identified in line with policy. There’s no new date for the change and the current regulated rate will continue to apply, the official said.

The government is reviewing how it calculates the price, known as Arenh, as other power distributors and large industrial consumers call for the rate to be lowered. Under a system designed to increase competition, former monopoly EDF has to sell about a quarter of its annual atomic output to rivals.

Chief Executive Officer Henri Proglio has urged the government to raise the price to help meet production costs he estimates at 50 euros a megawatt-hour.

Energy Minister Philippe Martin declined to comment at a press conference today in Paris. Carole Trivi, a spokeswoman for EDF, also declined to comment.

Factory owners have stepped up a campaign against energy costs that they say are higher in France because of the system of regulated power rates. They are also being disadvantaged as U.S. competitors benefit from a boom in cheap energy from shale.

Philippe de Ladoucette, head of the energy regulator, has said the price formula developed in 2011 would lead to a 10 percent increase from the current level.

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