French strike cuts 5,000 MW of power capacity-union

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

PARIS, Nov 25 (Reuters) - French energy strikers cut a total of 4,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity and 1,000 MW of thermal capacity since Monday night, an official at the CGT union told Reuters on Tuesday.

French strikers are holding a 24-hour strike to protest against salaries and pensions.

"The strike has cut a total of 5,000 MW, this is a very positive outcome for us," the union official said, adding that strikers had been warned by EDF not to cut more capacity to avoid endangering the supply/demand balance.

The power capacity cuts were taking place at the Belleville, Blayais, Chinon and Penly nuclear plants as well as at the Blenod thermal power plant, he said.

Power traders said the cuts in power capacity were bigger than what had been anticipated.

"We are quite surprised by the size of the action, which is pushing intraday peak prices sharply higher," one trader said.

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