Shorter outages raise EDF's nuclear generation in 2015

16 February 2016

French utility EDF announced its 2015 full-year results today, saying that it had met all its targets despite "unfavourable market conditions". Strong performances from its French and UK reactors helped support the company.

EDF reported EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) of €17.6 billion ($19.6 billion) in 2015, an increase of 3.9% from 2014 and in line with its target of at least 3% growth. Total sales last year came to €75 billion, up from €73 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, the group's share of net income was €1.2 billion in 2015, down 67.9% from the previous year.

Total net investments increased to €12.7 billion, up from €11.9 billion in 2014. Net investments for new developments including new nuclear build increased by €296 million in 2015 and were mainly financed by disposals up €478 million.

"EDF achieved all its targets in 2015. The year was marked by strong operational performance, reflecting the significant efforts the teams made."

Jean-Bernard Levy,
EDF chairman and CEO

The company reported a good performance in 2015 from its nuclear generation activities in France and the UK. Its French nuclear power plants generated a total 416.8 terawatt-hours of electricity, exceeding the target of 410-415 TWh and 0.9 TWh up from 2014. "This performance confirms the success of the action plan initiated in 2013 to control the duration of planned outages," EDF said.

The company said it anticipates more planned outages at its French reactors this year than in 2015, with six ten-year inspections, the replacement of the steam generators at two reactors and the gradual deployment of back-up diesel generators as part of post-Fukushima upgrades. EDF is again targeting nuclear electricity output of 410-415 TWh in 2016. The company's total electricity output in France last year was 455.7 TWh, a 4.6 TWH decrease from 2014.

Output from EDF's UK nuclear power plants increased by 4.4 TWh to 60.6 TWh in 2015 compared with the previous year. This, the company said, was its highest level in the past ten years and came despite reduced output at Hartlepool and Heysham 1. "This growth was a result of the strong performance of the whole fleet, with an unplanned outage rate at its lowest since 1996," it noted. EDF expects its UK nuclear output to remain at the same level this year.

EDF said it is adapting and responding to lower power prices and to increased competition by implementing strong management action. These, it said, include "continuous improvement of nuclear output, reduction of operational expenditures, investments selectivity, the working capital requirement improvement plan, funding new development projects through disposals, and examining a new regulation in France."

EDF chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Levy said, "EDF achieved all its targets in 2015. The year was marked by strong operational performance, reflecting the significant efforts the teams made."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News