Electrabel, a subsidiary of ENGIE, announced today its decision to update the agenda of the scheduled revisions of the Tihange 2 and Tihange 3 nuclear units (see appendix below).
Thus, the restart dates of these two plants, as of today, are as follows:
- Tihange 2: June 1, 2019 (previously planned on October 31, 2018)
- Tihange 3: March 2, 2019 (previously planned on September 30, 2018)
These calendar revisions result in a shortfall of around 250 million euros at 2018 Group EBITDA and net recurring income Group share.
It should be noted that based on the announcement made today, the availability factor of Belgian nuclear plants is expected at 52% for 2018. For 2019 the availability factor is expected at 74%.
As 2018 is strongly impacted by unplanned nuclear outages, the Group's general management is fully committed to achieve the financial objectives set at the beginning of the year.
The action plan launched last June (renegotiation of contracts, generation portfolio optimization) combined with the very good performance in other businesses, offset to a large extent the impact from unplanned nuclear outages.
The Group thereby confirms the 2018 financial targets (1), on net recurring income Group share (at the low end of the 2.45 to 2.65 billion euros range), on net debt/Ebitda ratio and on dividend.
A conference call will be held on Monday, September 24 at 8:00 am Paris time.
(1) These targets and indications exclude E&P and LNG contributions and assume average weather conditions in France, full pass through of supply costs in French regulated gas tariffs, unchanged significant Group accounting principles except for IFRS 9 & 15, no significant regulatory and macro-economic changes, commodity price assumptions based on market conditions as of December 31st, 2017 for the non-hedged part of the production, and average foreign exchange rates as follows for 2018: EUR /$: 1.22; EUR /BRL: 3.89 and do not consider significant impacts on disposals not already announced at Dec, 31st 2017.
Appendix: Electrabel press release September 21, 2018
Change to the Tihange 2 and Tihange 3 availability schedule
On 21 September, Electrabel changed the diagnostic completion date for Tihange 2 and Tihange 3.
It will be remembered that last year, Electrabel noted a deterioration in the concrete in the ceilings of the Doel 3 premises housing the outlet nozzles for the steam exhaust valves in the building attached to the reactor building. These buildings, located in the non-nuclear zone, are the most recent of the Belgian units, an additional safety facility that is not generally present in the plants of neighboring countries. These buildings are subject to intense steam pressure which degrades concretes over time.
The works on Tihange 3 and the analyses under way for Tihange 2 and Doel 4 (core sampling, stripping, data collection etc.), show that the deterioration varies from one building to another.
The teams are currently working on diagnosing the problem and on calculations that should enable the submission of action plans to the authorities.
In light of the information available, Electrabel has revised the availability of the units affected by the concrete issue:
Tihange 2: unavailable until 1 June 2019
Tihange 3: unavailable until 2 March 2019
Doel 4: no change; unavailable until 15 December 2018
Electrabel emphasizes that these dates are best estimates in light of the information currently available and may be altered depending on the optimization of scheduling, the results of future inspections, the progress of the works and injunctions issued by the authorities.
Electrabel communicates transparently to the markets. Electrabel reiterates that these events have no impact on local residents, workers or the environment.