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Strikes affecting French fuels distribution network

A national strike against planned pension reforms reduced France's power supply and disrupted petrol deliveries from French refineries on Tuesday.

Strikes have been taking place since mid-January as unions protest against the government's plans to make people work longer before retirement. Public transport and schools have also been affected.

Total power supply was reduced by about 6.3%, or 4.3 gigawatts (GW) due to decreased supply at two nuclear reactors, and several thermal- and hydro plants, data from power utility EDF showed.

Nuclear capacity was lowered by 1.8 GW and thermal plants were reduced by 2.3 GW, while hydropower disruptions totalled 220 megawatts (MW).

No imports were needed at 1215 GMT after peaking earlier at 2.8 GW, grid operator RTE data showed.

Strike participation at EDF totalled some 30.3% of employees by midday, the utility said. This compares to the midday rate of 40.3% recorded on Jan. 31.

On the refining side, the shipping of petrol products from French sites was interrupted by the strike, TotalEnergies said.

The company added that there was no shortage of petrol at fueling stations and supply levels were generally satisfactory.

About 56% of the operators working in the TotalEnergies' French refineries and depots were on strike this morning, the company said.

At Esso, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, about 75% of the workforce at the Fos site was on strike and blocking deliveries while the Port Jerome site was operating normally, a CGT spokesperson said.

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