The French government is said to be willing to support a 10-year extension to the life of the country’s nuclear reactors.
French energy firm Engie has confirmed that deputy chief executive Isabelle Kocher will take over the top job in May.
Lack of UK Government support for the renewables sector has led UK investment firm TRIG to invest £42million in a French solar project.
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.
Subsea navigation and positioning specialist Sonardyne has opened its first permanent office in France to help support its customers in the Mediterranean.
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.
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.”
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.
Bourbon Offshore said a judicial investigation has been launched into its business dealings in Africa. The matter relates to tax and bribery charges by authorities in Marseilles, France. It comes after the company's former manager was arrested at the Marseilles-Provence airport when he was returning from Africa in possession of approximately €190,000 in cash in 2010.
A series of mysterious drone flights over French nuclear reactors recently is exposing a security threat that has authorities scrambling. There have been more than a dozen sightings so far, including one this week, of small unmanned aircraft. They haven’t inflicted damage nor has anyone publicly claimed responsibility, according to atomic operators and French ministers. In spite of government assurances that a probe is underway, the flights have been going on for more than a month.