The French energy company does not rule out giving up on extending the life of Heysham 1 and Hartlepool plants beyond 2024 after the introduction of a tax on extraordinary profits.
EDF ready to deprive UK of 4% of its electricity sooner than expected? According to Telegramthe French energy company – which manages the 5 nuclear power plants operating across the Channel – could decide not to extend the life of two of them due to a new windfall tax decided by the British government and entered into force last week.
The proceeds of this temporary tax intended for electricity producers should help households pay their energy bills. But this new tax is not going well with companies producing low-carbon energy as well as some Conservative MPs who fear it will discourage investment in the UK at a time when the country is worried about its energy supply.
For EDF, the income tax could complicate the maintenance in service of the old Heysham 1 (2 reactors) and Hartlepool (2 reactors) plants which were commissioned in 1983 and which today supply up to four million households. Last September, the French energy company said it was seriously considering extending the life of these two sites beyond the closure date initially set for March 2024.
“It will be considered”
But the new profit tax added to the inflationary backdrop appears to have changed that. “Of course, this will be factored into the business case for extending the lifespan (of the two plants). It won’t make things any easier,” he told the Telegram Rachael Glaving, Commercial Director of EDF UK.
This announcement comes as the UK already fears it will have to make cuts this winter. In the worst case, the strong need for electricity caused by the drop in temperatures would also be accompanied by a reduction in gas imports from Norway and electricity from France. An extreme situation that would then force Great Britain to apply power cuts for a total of four days.