EDF Said to Be in Talks to Sell Coal-Trading Business to Jera

Electricite de France SA is in talks to sell its coal-trading business to Japan’s Jera Co. as the French company shifts its focus to nuclear and renewable power, said two people familiar with the matter.

The talks with Jera, which in May signed an agreement to sell liquefied natural gas to EDF, include coal mines and trading positions, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. The transaction could involve some swapping of assets, the other person said.

A spokeswoman for EDF declined to comment on the matter. The talks were reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

EDF, among the largest coal traders, plans to sell 10 billion euros ($11 billion) of assets by 2020 including some fossil fuel-burning power plants as new taxes and regulations in the U.S. and Europe make coal less attractive. The money raised by the sales will help fund new projects in nuclear and renewable energy.

French Environment and Energy Minister Segolene Royal said on Monday that France will introduce a minimum price for carbon emissions from coal-fired power stations from next year as part of the country’s plan to fight climate change and pollution.

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