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France

France

EDF wins bulk of French offshore projects

FRANCE: The consortium led by EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN) emerged the clear winner of the French offshore tender, taking home three of the four projects awarded by industry minister Eric Besson (see table).

GDF Suez came away empty-handed, despite having submitted four bids. Rumours circulating last week indicated that all four projects would go to EDF EN, following the advice of energy regulator CRE.

In the end, however, the government decided to award the St-Brieuc project to the consortium led by Iberdrola, even though EDF EN offered a lower price. The government wanted "to give a chance" to a second group, spread the risk and maximise the industrial benefits, Besson said.

The government did, however, follow CRE's advice to abandon a fifth project at Le Tréport, where GDF Suez was the only bidder. The purchase price was the highest among all the projects, the energy ministry said.

In fact, all the bids exceeded the indicative tariffs specified in the tender, the government said. These were capped at €175/MWh and €200/MWh, depending on the location. Overall, Besson said the power prices will add around €1.1 billion a year to electricity bills.

The bidders' industrial plans also played an important role. EDF EN has teamed up with Alstom for its projects, totalling 1,428MW. Alstom will supply 238 of its new Haliade 150 6MW turbines from four new factories to be built at St-Nazaire and Cherbourg. It will create 7,500 direct and indirect jobs, Alstom says, with series production to start in 2014.

Iberdrola will use Areva's 5MW turbines for its 500MW project at St-Brieuc. Areva will build two factories at Le Havre to produce turbines and blades, and create around 2,000 jobs.

The winners now have 18 months to complete detailed feasibility studies analysing the technical and environmental aspects of the projects before entering the permitting process. Even if everything goes smoothly, it is unlikely anything will be commissioned before 2017.

Winning bidders

Zone

Department

Capacity (MW)

Consortium led by

Turbines

Fécamp

Seine-Maritime

498

EDF EN

Alstom

Courseulles-sur-Mer

Calvados

450

EDF EN

Alstom

Saint-Nazaire

Loire-Atlantique

480

EDF EN

Alstom

Saint-Brieuc

Côtes d’Armor

500

Iberdrola

Areva

Total 1928

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