Cordemais power station

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Cordemais power station is an operating power station of at least 1260-megawatts (MW) in Cordemais, Nantes, Loire-Atlantique, France.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Cordemais power station Cordemais, Nantes, Loire-Atlantique, France 47.276707, -1.881559 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 4, Unit 5: 47.276707, -1.881559

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 4 operating coal - bituminous 630 subcritical 1983 2024 (planned)
Unit 5 operating coal - bituminous 630 subcritical 1984 2024 (planned)

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 4 Electricité de France SA (EDF) [100.0%]
Unit 5 Electricité de France SA (EDF) [100.0%]

Project-level coal details

  • Coal source(s): imported


The Cordemais power station was commissioned in 1970 with a single oil-fired generating unit with a nameplate capacity of 585 MW. That unit is now mothballed. The station was extended in 1976 with another two oil-fired units of 700 MW each. In 1983 one coal-fired unit of 600 MW was added, and another 600 MW coal-fired unit was installed in 1984. It is owned by EDF Group. Coal is imported.[1]

EDF has announced that it is planning to run its Cordemais and Le Havre plants until 2035. Climate groups argue the plans run counter to France’s decarbonization objectives, which include a reduction in fossil fuel use of 30% by 2030.[2]

Rehabilitation of unit 3

The oil-fired unit 3 was brought back into service in 2007 after being mothballed for 12 years. The rehabilitation cost 185 million euros.[3][4][5]

Coal source

The power station uses between 1.3 and 2 million tonnes of coal per year imported from South Africa, Poland, United States and Australia using the port facilities located at Montoir-de-Bretagne from where the coal is shipped by barges to the power station.[6]

France's coal phase out

France joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance in 2017, the year it was launched. It has a coal phase-out date of 2022, one of the most ambitious in the world. In June 2019, the country enacted phase out legislation in the form of an energy and climate law containing an emission cap effective January 2022. The law is intended to make coal plants unprofitable, but leaves the door open for low running hours of coal plants beyond the phase out date or conversion to a mix of coal and biomass. Although the 2022 target is feasible given that France has few remaining operating plants, the 1,260 MW Cordemais plant is planned to continue operating beyond the deadline at a low utilization rate, potentially until 2024 or 2026.[7][8][9]

In August 2023, the French Energy Transition Ministry announced that Cordemais power station and Emile Huchet power station would be allowed to operate until the end of 2024. The ministry said the extension for the plants was to guarantee sufficient capacity was available over the coming winter.[10][11]

In September 2023, national grid operator RTE announced that they were considering keeping the Cordemais power station and Emile Huchet power station on standby to meet growing demand during the country's long-term energy transition.[12][13]

Articles and Resources


  1. "Cordemais Thermal Power Station France," GEO, accessed April 2016
  2. "G7 coal phase out: France," E3G, Sep 15, 2015
  3. EDF, 2007 Annual Report, page 62.
  4. EDF, "EDF brings into service a quarter of its planned new generation capacity in France", Media Release, January 23, 2008.
  5. "PiE's new power plant tracker - April 2008", Power in Europe, Issue 523, April 7, 2008, page 14.
  6. "Cordemais: France's Largest Thermal Power Station". Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  7. "France," Bloomberg Coal Countdown, accessed 2021
  8. "Centrale de Cordemais, le charbon en sursis," France3, January 12, 2022
  9. "Cordemais. Un pique-nique contre le scénario d’une mini-centrale nucléaire," January 20, 2022
  10. "France extends life of last coal-fired plants to avoid winter shortfalls," Euractiv, August 28, 2023
  11. "France Extends Coal Plant Waiver Into 2024 to Back Power Supply," BNN Bloomberg, August 24, 2023
  12. "France bets on coal to ensure power supply," RT, September 21, 2023
  13. "France May Have to Keep Coal-Power Plants for Security of Supply," Bloomberg, September 20, 2023

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.