PARIS, March 25 France's decision on whether to
allow EDF to raise the price at which it must sell a
quarter of its nuclear power to competitors will be delayed past
end-March, said sources close to the matter and the head of a
The utility is waiting for a government decree on a new
calculation method for the "Arenh" price at which it sells
nuclear-generated electricity to competitors such as Direct
Energie in exchange for its monopoly on nuclear power
"The decree is not finished for the moment," a source close
to the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
"The government finds it difficult to take a decision, (...)
it's politically difficult to take a decision," another source
said, adding that the new decree could be ready in the summer.
Direct Energie top executive Fabien Chone told Reuters he
expected a decision to come this summer at the earliest.
"It's materially impossible to publish this decree before
the end of March," he said.
A spokeswoman for the energy ministry said consultations on
the subject were being reviewed, without giving an expected date
for the new decree. EDF and the finance ministry declined to
comment on the matter.
EDF Chief Executive Henri Proglio has said he hopes the
Arenh will rise progressively to 50 euros per megawatt/hour,
which he says is the effective production cost, from the current
The Arenh price has been criticised from all sides since it
was first put in place in July 2011.
EDF's smaller rivals say it is too high to allow them to
really compete with the former monopoly power provider, and
power-intensive industries say the tariff is already high enough
to sap their competitiveness.
(Reporting by Benjamin Mallet, writing by Michel Rose; editing
by Jane Baird)