British Energy (BE) has recorded a first-half loss of £234 million, almost four times the £60 million lost in the same peiod last year. The company said its outlook is ‘challenging’.
BE has suffered from continued delays in repairs at its Heysham 1 and Hartlepool plants – two 620MWe AGR units at each remain offline. The outages have contributed to a 14% (4.6TWh) drop in nuclear generation compared to last year.
The company’s problems have been further worsened by the fact that it forward sold its power while in crisis due to low prices last year. It is now unable to meet its generation commitments and is being forced to buy replacement power on the wholesale market at higher prices.
A BE statement said that the Heysham and Hartlepool units are not expected to return to service until very late in 2004 while “the outlook for the company’s financial and trading prospects for the remainder of the financial year will be challenging.”