France

Renewables/Energy Transition

Nuclear reactor delay in France will have no impact on UK plans, says EDF

Energy giant EDF has announced a delay in building a new nuclear reactor in northern France, but said it will have no impact on its planned new power station in the UK. The European pressurised reactor (EPR) nuclear plant at Flamanville in Normandy will not be up and running until 2018, a year later than previously announced. Two more EPRs are under construction in China and EDF plans to build two at Hinkley Point, Somerset.

Europe

In shale-wary France, an attempt to revive former coal region with gas

France could get the equivalent of 10 years of gas consumption by exploiting the methane trapped in the former coal mines of its deprived eastern regions, a French company running a rare domestic exploration programme said on Wednesday. France, which slammed the door on developing shale gas due to environmental concerns and blocked many exploration permits, has discretely supported efforts by Française de l'Energie, based in the Lorraine region, to exploit so-called coalbed methane. "France is completely dependent on imports, so it's rather interested in seeing we can produce a gas which is clean and near existing infrastructure," said Julien Moulin, head of the company formerly known as European Gas.

Oil & Gas

Total oil strike fizzles as jobs worry dampens militancy

A labor union that orchestrated a complete shutdown of France’s refineries in 2010 failed to gain support for a nationwide strike at oil plants this week in a sign its influence is waning. The Confederation Generale du Travail had called for a walkout at refineries, oil depots and import terminals to protest against a plan by Total SA to halt crude processing at La Mede plant in southern France. There was no labor action Thursday at refineries other than La Mede, where a three-week strike has idled operations, Total said. “The CGT is losing ground in its traditional bastions of power like energy and chemicals,” Bernard Vivier, director of Paris-based researcher the Higher Institute of Labor, said in an interview. “France’s social climate isn’t one of revolt these days but rather of resignation.”

Oil & Gas

Total union calls national strike against La Mede refinery halt

France's CGT union on Monday called on workers at all oil refineries, depots and port loading terminals to strike on July 2 to protest against Total's plans to end refining at its La Mede plant on the south coast. In a statement, the CGT also called for Total's service stations to be blocked every Thursday this summer until the oil company withdraws its proposals for La Mede.