GDF Suez Falls in Paris on Reports of Early Atomic Phase-Out

Author: Spencer Ogden
Date posted01/Nov/2011
Author: Spencer Ogden

GDF Suez (GSZ) SA, the largest electricity producer in Belgium and the Netherlands, fell in Paris trading on reports Belgium may accelerate a phase-out of nuclear plants.

GDF declined 5.7 percent to 20.52 euros, bringing its slide this year to 24 percent and valuing the utility at 46.2 billion euros ($64.3 billion).

Elio Di Rupo, prime minister-designate, and parties trying to agree a new government plan to phase out Belgium’s nuclear plants, national news agency Belga said. The Doel I and II and Tihange I reactors will be closed in 2015 and other plants shut by 2025, Belga said, citing an unidentified person. A 10-year life extension for the plants had been agreed in 2009, Vincent Ayral, an analyst at UniCredit SpA (UCG), wrote in a report.

“The risk on GDF Suez’s nuclear is rising once more,”Ayral said. “We expect the stock to give up the bulk of its gains last week on the back of this news.” The company rose 6.9 percent on Oct. 27 in Paris trading.

GDF’s Electrabel SA unit operates Belgium’s seven nuclear reactors and the utility has a capacity of about 13,000 megawatts in the country, including nuclear and wind farms.

The reactor closures depend on development of a program to ensure energy supply, according to Belga. Early closure may raise power security risks as the country struggles to replace the plants’ 1,788 megawatt capacity, UniCredit said.