Ahead of its planned partial privatisation, state-owned Electricité de France (EdF) is expanding its gas operations in Europe.

In a document filed with French regulators, EdF says it aims to ‘continue to reinforce its position in the gas sector in order to become a recognised player in the European industry.’

Meanwhile, the group is selling off unprofitable assets in South America and Africa in a bid to cut debt.

The strategy would allow EdF to both secure fuel supplies and offer customers a range of energy services.

The sale of EdF could take place as early as October although unions have warned that they intend to take more action to prevent the move. The unions are planning to launch a national petition calling for a public debate on the future of the energy sector in France which will be followed by unified protest action in September.