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EDF Energy’s Hinkley champion to step down

13 June 2017 | By James Kenny

Vincent De Rivaz, the veteran boss of EDF Energy who led on the development of Hinkley Point C, will step down from the French energy group at the end of October this year.

He will be replaced within EDF’s UK business by Simone Rossi, a former chief financial officer at EDF Energy, from November as part of an executive reshuffle across the group. Rossi has been in charge of EDF’s international division since 2015.

De Rivaz has been with the French state-backed energy giant for 40 years and has stood at the helm of the UK business since 2002.

At first he was chief executive of the London Electricity Group before it merged with Seeboard and the Eastern Network to become EDF Energy in 2003.

The outgoing chief executive led EDF’s successful but arduous efforts to clinch a subsidy deal with the government for nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. The deal was finally completed in 2008.

While it has not been confirmed why De Rivaz is stepping down, it is thought he was satisfied after getting the much-maligned and heavily delayed Hinkley contract over the line. 

He steps away from his role as a pay dispute involving workers on the project had put further delays on the construction of the plant. However, the dispute was recently resolved.

EDF Energy has also been in the news recently with the announcement that it had acquired UK M&E specialist Imtech as part of a deal working alongside its Dalkia district heating subsidiary.

Imtech employs more than 2,100 people, generating revenues of £400m a year by delivering M&E services, facilities management and the integration of digital control solutions.

Imtech said in a statement that “backing and expertise from the EDF Group will enable Imtech to continue to deliver high quality services for new and existing clients and support its growth across all its business, including low carbon solutions”.

It added that the merger would enable the company to “apply the latest technologies and offer innovative services that deliver improved energy efficiencies at every stage in the life of industrial and commercial facilities”.

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