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PARIS, Nov 3 (Reuters) - French utility EDF said on Thursday it had postponed the restart of five of its nuclear reactors until the end of the year, sending French and German electricity prices to new highs.
A company spokeswoman was not immediately able to give an explanation for the delay.
According to earlier data, EDF’s 900 megawatt per hour (MWh) Bugey 4 reactor and Gravelines 2 reactor had been due to restart on Nov. 30.
The restart of the 900 MWh Tricastin 4 reactor was scheduled for Dec. 19, while the Tricastin 1 and 3 ones were planned to restart on Dec. 23.
European power prices have hit multi-year highs in recent weeks on fears EDF could struggle to meet winter demand after the French nuclear safety watchdog demanded it carry out further tests on a dozen reactors.
Electricity prices for the year ahead surged shortly after the news, with the French Cal‘17 hitting a contract high of 49.00 euros per MWh. Its German equivalent touched 35.75 euros/MWh, a price not seen since Feb. 18, 2014.
Reuters estimates that 19,300 MW, or 30.51 percent of France’s nuclear generation capacity, is currently offline, based on data provided by EDF and French grid operator RTE. (Reporting by Bate Felix and Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Mark Potter)