Thierry Saegeman, head of nuclear activities at Engie Electrabel, recorded a video for the attention of his staff.
This communication comes as the federal government has confirmed the nuclear phase-out in 2025. As a reminder, an assessment will be made at the end of 2021 in order to verify whether it is indeed possible to do without Doel 4 and Tihange 3, the two power plants that Electrabel wishes to extend.
The energy company has always maintained that the decision to extend these two reactors should be made by the end of 2020, at the latest. Otherwise, it will not be possible to carry out the work necessary for the extension on time. The new legislation provides that all the work must be carried out before the extension, which was not the case when Doel 1 and 2 were extended.
In his communication to staff, Thierry Saegeman states that “This very firm position of the government forces us to prepare for a change of course”.
According to him, Electrabel cannot invest millions of euros in 2021 alone, “Without being sure to generate a return on investment”.
As a result, Thierry Saegeman announces that he must now focus all his resources “In personnel and material, in preparation for the final shutdown and dismantling of our seven units”.
Despite this change of course, Thierry Saegeman does not close the door to a possible extension of nuclear power …
“If at the end of 2021, the government finally decides to keep the plants, we will assess the situation at that time and assess what we will be able to do at that time”, he says.
In short, the door is only half closed. This is a communication operation that looks like a big push against Vivaldi.