July 9 (Reuters) – German utility E.ON (EONGn.DE) could take a partial stake in some of EDF’s (EDF.PA) nuclear reactors as part of a plan to extend the life of the plants, E.ON told a newspaper on Friday.
French parliamentarians last month passed a bill that will force former power monopoly EDF to sell a quarter of its nuclear output to rivals to foster greater competition in the electricity market.
The bill will now have to be examined by the upper house in an extraordinary parliamentary session in July or September, but a senator of the UMP ruling party has proposed instead that EDF invite shareholders into the country’s 58 nuclear reactors.
“E.ON would be very interested. But this objective must be clearly written in the law. Otherwise, the historical operator would have excessive leverage in negotiations,” said Luc Poyer, the head of E.ON France in an interview with daily Le Figaro.
“If 500 million euros are needed to extend the life of a reactor, a part of that investment could come from a player that has the technical and economic expertise. In exchange, it would get a share in the output,” he added.
Poyer also said France should further open its electricity market, which was liberalised in July 2007 in line with European Union demands, but EDF’s competitors are struggling to attract customers because of scarce access to baseload output. (Reporting by Michel Rose and Benjamin Mallet; Editing by Hans Peters)