EDF considering options over its 80 percent stake in UK nuclear plants

The logo of Electricite de France SA (EDF) is pictured at the World Nuclear Exhibition (WNE), the trade fair event for the global nuclear community in Villepinte near Paris, France, June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - French state-controlled power group EDF EDF.PA said on Wednesday it was considering its options regarding Britain's nuclear plants, adding that it wanted to keep a majority stake.

The Sunday Times had reported over the weekend that China General Nuclear (CGN) was in early-stage talks with EDF Energy and its partner Centrica CNA.L about acquiring a share of up to 49 percent in Britain's fleet of eight power stations.

Centrica itself had said in June it planned to sell its 20 percent stake in the UK nuclear power plants by the end of 2020.

“Following Centrica’s announcement of its intention to sell its 20 percent stake in EDF Energy’s operating nuclear fleet by 2020, EDF is currently taking steps to support this process and considering different options – while remaining committed to maintain control and majority ownership of the asset,” EDF said in a statement on Wednesday.

“No decision regarding a potential minority sell-down of its stake has been taken yet,” added the French company.

EDF’s British business EDF Energy owns and operates 15 nuclear reactors in eight nuclear power stations with a total capacity of 8.9 gigawatts, which generate about 20 percent of Britain’s electricity.

Since 2009, Centrica has held a 20 percent stake in Lake Acquisitions Ltd, which holds EDF’s operating UK nuclear generation assets but not its nuclear newbuild projects.

Reporting by Geert de Clercq; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta