British Energy finishes boiler repairs

24 April 2007

In a trading statement to the London Stock Exchange, UK nuclear generation company British Energy has declared that boiler tube repairs at its Hunterston B and Hinkley Point B reactors are complete.

Repair of reserve cooling water feed tanks at Hunterston B has also been concluded allowing the company to present the safety cases required for the return to service of all four units at around 70% of full capacity to the regulator. Subject to the approval, British Energy was planning to commence a programme to return all four units to service by the end of April. Following the return to service of the units, BE will focus on the potential to return output to previous levels from both stations.

However, while progress on the boiler tube defects has progressed, the company also revealed that its generation performance for the financial year was only marginally ahead of expectations at just 58.4TWh, of which nuclear provided 51.2TWh and coal 7.2TWh. The poor nuclear output follows unplanned losses of approximately 20.3TWh over the year of which 9.4TWh was due to boiler issues.

Fixed price contracts for all output was at an average price of around £45/MWh ($90/MWh) including the impact of approximately 5TWh of capped contracts. In addition, the company has total fixed price contracts in place for approximately 54TWh for the financial year 2007-08 at an average price of £43/MWh ($86/MWh) excluding approximately 5TWh of capped contracts at around £30/MWh ($60/MWh).

Meanwhile, British Energy announced that it has instigated proceedings against Credit Suisse relating to its Eggborough coal-fired power station. The action relates to the exercise of the lending banks’ options to acquire the power station in 2010.




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