PowerSwitch Main Page
The UK's Peak Oil Discussion Forum & Community
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

British Energy hit by output warning

Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> Nuclear Power
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 826
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:41 pm    Post subject: British Energy hit by output warning Reply with quote

British Energy hit by output warning

Nuclear power generator British Energy was given a jolt from the City today after revealing a fresh blow in its battle to improve output.

Shares in the company fell 7% as investors reacted to last night?s warning that delays in returning units to service at Hunterston B in Ayrshire and Hinkley Point B in Somerset would extend its record of unplanned stoppages.

The share-price fall follows a strong run for the FTSE 100 Index stock, which has benefited from rising power prices and restructuring efforts.

However, output reliability has continued to dog the company, following previous boiler-unit closures at one of its plants at Heysham in Lancashire and other outages at Hartlepool.

British Energy recently pledged ?250m (?371.4m) of investment to improve the operating performance of its stations, many of which will have reached the end of their life by 2023.

British Energy warned in August that it was unlikely to meet its output target of 63 terrawatt hours (TWh) in the current financial year, following losses of 4.4TWh over the previous four months.

Last night it warned of the potential loss of another 2TWh because of the latest delays, which came after inspections at a unit of Hunterston B indicated a higher-than-expected level of boiler-tube cracking.

The company does not believe there is a similar degree of boiler-tube cracking at a unit of Hinkley Point B, but has decided to bring forward inspections in advance of a statutory outage planned for the end of September.

Chief executive Bill Coley said in August that human performance improvement remained a ?specific area of focus? for the company, which has eight nuclear-powered stations and one coal-fired plant.

He added last month: ?We are not pleased by the level of small losses in the year to date and are continuing to focus on improved reliability.?

The share-price fall comes as the British government looks at the possibility of reducing its 65% stake in the company, which is the UK?s biggest producer of nuclear power.

Ministers may be prepared to sell up to half of the holding, which the government picked up as part of its involvement in the financial rescue of the company in January last year.

The group was privatised in 1996 but ran into trouble in 2002 when electricity prices slumped. It was rescued by the government in a ?5bn (?7.5bn) refinancing package that saw ministers take on decommissioning liabilities.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> Nuclear Power All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group