PARIS, Oct 22 (Reuters) - The French electricity producers’ Association (UFE) denied a press report that state-owned utility EDF (EDF.PA) had agreed with its rivals on prices at which it would supply them with nuclear electricity to bolster competition. The economic daily Les Echos newspaper said on Thursday that the parties had agreed that, as of 2010, EDF’s rivals could buy electricity from the former monopoly’s nuclear power plants at about 34 euros ($50.90) per megawatt hour, a price that would gradually increase to 55-60 euros until 2020.
“The UFE denies the information of Les Echos newspaper which says that an agreement had taken place in the sector on a price level,” the Union Francaise de l’Electricite said in a statement.
The government last month announced it wanted to reform the French market to foster more competition, in line with European Union demands. [ID:nLF462541].
The market has been fully liberalised since July 2007 but EDF still owns all of France’s 58 nuclear reactor, which provide an 80 percent share in overall electricity consumption.
Competitors such as Poweo ALPWO.PA or GDF Suez GSZ.PA are struggling to attract clients because they do not have access to baseload electricity output.
The government reform plan includes ending state-set electricity tariffs for industries by 2015 and allowing rival power suppliers to buy nuclear-generated nuclear power at production cost.
A UFE spokeswoman said it was not part of the body’s remit to decide on a price level but up to the government.
“We are discussing a general industrial framework but it is absolutely not up to us to decide on a price level,” she said. (Reporting by Muriel Boselli, editing by Anthony Barker)