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Luc Remont, a senior executive at power equipment maker Schneider Electric (SCHN.PA) , has emerged as front-runner to take over as chief executive at French nuclear power group EDF (EDF.PA), according to two sources close to the matter.

The utility faces challenges ranging from looming energy rationing driven by the war in Ukraine to implementing a costly government pro-nuclear strategy.

The sources said Remont was the preferred candidate of Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, though the final decision lay with President Emmanuel Macron.

Remont, who turned 53 on Wednesday, started his career at France’s defence procurement and technology agency, according to a biography on Schneider’s corporate website. He was also deputy chief of staff to finance ministers for five years in the early 2000s during Jacques Chirac’s presidency.

EDF, in which the state has an 84% stake, is in the process of being fully nationalised and its long-time chairman and CEO, Jean-Bernard Levy, replaced.

Le Maire said on Tuesday he had sent a shortlist of candidates for Levy’s job to Macron and Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne, and that a decision will be made in the next few days.

Remont is currently executive vice-president in charge of international operations at Schneider Electric, which specialises in digital automation and energy management. Le Figaro newspaper first tipped him as the leading candidate for the EDF job on Tuesday.

Some sources have said it was not clear if Levy’s job would be split into two roles, chair and CEO. Le Maire has signalled that he favours a single person at the helm.

EDF, the finance ministry and Schneider Electric declined to comment.