Electricite de France SA (EDF) is exploring the partial divestment of its clean energy assets in India to reduce its debt substantially, Economic Times has reported.

The French energy giant, grappling with a debt exceeding $50bn, has initiated the sale process for its renewable operations in the country.

EDF Renewables India currently operates 530MW of clean energy assets across Rajasthan and Gujarat, with an additional 1GW in the pipeline.

The company has appointed Rothschild to manage the sale and has approached several potential investors.

These include global infrastructure investors like KKR, Actis, CDPQ, and Sembcorp, as well as Indian firms such as JSW, Torrent, and Sekura Energy, which is backed by Edelweiss Infrastructure.

EDF’s net debt stood at $58.7bn at the end of 2023, down from the previous year’s peak of $69.6bn.

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Despite the sale, EDF is expected to retain a portion of its Indian assets, selling only about 50-70% to an investor. The operational assets could be valued at about ₹30bn-35bn ($359m – $419m).

After a challenging period, EDF reported a net profit of €10bn in 2023, a significant turnaround from a loss of €17.9bn in 2022. Its EBITDA also recovered, reaching €39.9bn compared to a loss the previous year.

EDF’s financial struggles have been compounded by falling electricity prices and difficulties in securing long-term supply contracts with industrial customers.

The company, which is wholly owned by the French government, also faces operational challenges with its nuclear fleet in Europe. Several reactors in France have been shut down due to corrosion, maintenance, and technical issues.

In India, EDF’s presence spans across five entities, with a focus on various aspects of the energy sector, including nuclear power project development and smart meter installation.

EDF Renewables boasts a significant global capacity, with 15.6GW installed and 5.9GW under construction.

The company is also pursuing the development of the 9.9GW Jaitapur nuclear power project in Maharashtra, in collaboration with NPCIL.