November 5, 2018 / 12:12 PM / 15 days ago

EDF extends outage at France's Havre 4 coal power plant due to strike

PARIS, Nov 5 (Reuters) - French utility EDF has extended the outage at its 580 megawatts (MW) Havre 4 coal-fired power plant by another 24 hours until Tuesday Nov. 6 due to an ongoing strike, said grid operator RTE.

Electricity generation at the unit has been suspended since Oct. 27. The strike, which started in protest against a French government plan to shut down power generation from coal, was initially expected to end on Sunday.

RTE said the unit was expected to restart on Tuesday.

EDF warned on Oct. 17 that protests could hit its coal power plants in France until the end of June 2019, due to a legislative process that would lead to the adoption of France’s long-term energy policy.

France, which depends on nuclear power for over 75 percent of its electricity needs, has shut down most of its coal power plants. Only five units with an installed capacity of around 3,000 MW are currently operational.

President Emmanuel Macron has promised to shut down the remaining coal power plants by the end of 2021 to respect climate change obligations.

The long-term energy policy known as PPE, expected to be unveiled at the end of the month, could lay out a time frame for the closure of the remaining coal generation units. (Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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