EDF Energy has attributed an 8 per cent rise in its operating profits to its existing UK nuclear fleet, as it seeks to extend the lifetime of one plant and build new nuclear reactors in the next decade.
EDF Group posted its full year results for the financial year ending 31 December 2013, which included highlights of EDF Energy’s performance in the UK.
For 2013, EDF Energy posted operating profits of £863m, compared to £801m for the same period in 2012, showing a 7.7 per cent rise.
The company said its operating profit had been supported by its eight existing nuclear power stations in the UK, including Hinkley Point B in Somerset and Dungeness B in Kent. EDF Energy said the plants had generated 60.5TWh of electricity in 2013, which was the highest output it had seen in the last eight years.
EDF Energy hopes to extend the life of its Dungeness B plant by 10 years it said, with an internal decision to be made in 2014, subject to approval by the Office for Nuclear Regulation.
The company reinvested all of its operational profit from 2012 and more back into the business during 2013, with more than £1.1bn being spent on its existing nuclear and coal stations, its new nuclear project at Hinkley Point C, new generation capacity, gas storage facilities and in its customer supply business.
EDF Energy said it had reinvested around £3.5bn back into the UK over the last three years.
EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: “Our financial performance means we can make the big investments the country needs to give it the reliable low carbon energy it needs now and in the future. It also means we can invest in jobs and skills for the long term.
“The investment we are making in our existing nuclear power stations has resulted in their best performance for eight years. We believe that their operating lives can be safely extended and we expect to be able to announce a 10 year life extension for Dungeness B before the end of 2014. This means existing nuclear can hand over directly to the next generation of nuclear power stations without the need for more fossil fuel generation.”
EDF Energy is currently waiting on state aid approval for its new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, which if given the green light would see the construction of the £16bn project begin in 2015/16.
The European Commission launched an investigation on December 18 2013, looking into the Hinkley deal struck between EDF Energy and the UK government.
A damning initial assessment was published by the commission last month as part of the investigation, which questioned the agreed strike price under the government’s contracts for difference and whether government underwriting the scheme through the use of a state-backed UK Guarantee falls within state aid rules.