Strike extended at EDF's Cordemais 5 coal power plant until February 13

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the Electricite de France (EDF) coal-fired power plant in Cordemais, near Nantes, France, October 18, 2018. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) - A strike at French utility EDF’s 580 megawatts Cordemais 5 coal-fired power generator has been extended until February 13, data from power grid operator RTE showed on Wednesday.

The series of strikes, which has affected French coal power plants since last year, was called for by unions to protest against the government’s plan to phase out coal power generation by 2022.

A separate strike at the same capacity Cordemais 4 generator cut output by over 32 percent on Wednesday, according to the RTE.

EDF has warned that the strikes could affect power production at its coal power plants throughout the first half of the year, as workers continue their protests.

RTE said the current outage at Cordemais could be extended.

The grid operator has urged workers on strike at the plant several times this winter to restart the generators during a prolonged cold snap, in order to meet electricity demand.

The French government has said it will make a decision in autumn on whether to allow the conversion of EDF’s Cordemais and Havre coal power plants to burn biomass as fuel for power generation.

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta