Uniper question French market over coal exit

Uniper question French market over coal exit

German energy giant Uniper has warned that it would be forced to review its French business model if the country continues plans to close its coal fired power plants.

“If the government simply pushes the idea of a coal exit through without consensus with the companies we need to rethink our entire French business model,” CFO Christopher Delbrueck said during a half-year earnings call with analysts.

French President Emmanuel Macron said France would phase out coal production by 2021 – two years earlier than the previous administration.

Delbrueck said: “We couldn’t absorb a blow like this with our remaining business in France, which consists of renewables, gas-fired power plants, and energy sales, particularly since we just concluded a ten-year phase of restructuring and new investment.”

1,200MW of the 2,100MW of installed capacity owned by Uniper in France is coal and the company is one of only two firms in the country that operate coal fired power plants.

While France is reducing its use of coal, some of the world’s leading economies including China and Germany have highlighted their dependence on the use of coal, despite pressuring developing nations not to use the commodity that is used to provide cheap and reliable electricity.

Furthermore, France could find itself struggling to find reliable energy sources after French junior environment minister Brune Poirson announced the government’s plans to decrease the country’s use of nuclear in its energy mix as soon as possible.

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