Tuesday 14 April 2020 9:28 am

EDF withdraws financial guidance for 2020 and 2021 as coronavirus hits power demand

French energy company EDF said today it was withdrawing its financial targets for 2020 and 2021 as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

EDF said it was pulling all financial targets, including the lower end of the earnings Ebitda range of €17.5bn (£15.2bn) in 2020.

“The economic turmoil that follows from the current sanitary crisis results in a drop in power demand and significantly impacts many of the group’s businesses, namely nuclear generation … (and) new-build projects and services,” EDF said in a statement.

EDF operates France’s 58 nuclear reactors that account for about 75 per cent of the country’s electricity needs. The sharp downturn in economic activity meant forecasts for nuclear generation were under review and would be adjusted significantly below the initial assumption, the group said.

Sources told news agency Reuters last week that Total was among several power suppliers that had tried to declare force majeure on buying nuclear power from EDF after the outbreak pushed prices in the French power market far below existing contracts.

EDF is building a new nuclear plant in the UK at Hinkley Point C in Somerset with plans for another new plant at Sizewell C in Suffolk.

The Hinkley project has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with some workers furloughed and others asked to come and live on-site to continue working.

Hinkley Point C, which will power up to 6m homes, is slated to open in 2025. Previous estimates had said that the power plant would be open in 2017.