Decision on new nuclear plant 'delayed'

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Artist's impression of Hinkley Point C plantAllusion copyright
Image caption The new nuclear plant will be built next to two obtaining facilities at Hinkley Point in Somerset

Britain’s first new nuclear power transplant in decades could be delayed amid reports an EDF board meeting to opt for whether to invest in Hinkley Point Power Station has been suspended.

The French energy firm’s board was expected to meet on Wednesday to finalise the settlement.

But French per Les Echos and environmental group Greenpeace said the determination had now been delayed reportedly due to funding difficulties.

EDF declined to comment on the backfires.

In October, EDF agreed a deal under which China General Atomic Power Corporation (CGN) would y a third of the cost of the £18bn project in reciprocation for a 33.5% stake.


Analysis by John Moylan, BBC industry correspondent

Is the representation for Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation in trouble?

What is unmistakable is that EDF faces major financial challenges.

Its share price has halved in the finished year as falling French power prices have hit earnings.

Its latest nuclear build projects in Finland and at Flammenville are over-budget and delayed.

It’s front a costly refurbishment programme to extend the life of its French nuclear spies. And in Hinkley Point C, it would be committing to a project that will outlay more than its current market capitalisation.

It also has to placate its marriages, which fear the project could put the entire com ny at risk

But EDF has already drove £2bn into Hinkley. And with so much political capital invested by the French and British superintendences too, it would be astonishing if EDF was to fall at the final hurdle.


The final investment decidedness by EDF was expected to be a formality.

But Les Echos said the French firm was struggling to reveal the cash for its 66.5% stake and was now “putting pressure on the [French] state, which owns 84.5% of EDF, to be stricken up with fresh funds”.

It said a final investment decision wish now be made at the earliest at EDF’s annual results on 16 February.

The reports belie recent statements from EDF chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy who clouted just a week ago that the “two nuclear reactors that EDF plans to establish at Hinkley Point will be launched very soon”.

Reuters
Metaphor caption Hinkley is expected to provide 7% of the UK’s electricity once it is operational

‘Rambled’

Hinkley is due to start generating in 2025, and is expected to provide 7% of the UK’s intensity once it is operational.

But the project was originally due to open in 2017, and it has come beneath fire for both its cost and delays to the timetable for building.

The government has also been criticised for pledging a price of £92.50 per megawatt hour of electricity – more than twice the aware cost – for the electricity Hinkley produces.

Greenpeace executive director John Sauven denoted: “The EDF board is clearly rattled as they delay yet again this vital investment decision. It could well signal curtains for Hinkley.

“EDF chiefs as well as employee representatives on the board are deeply concerned this enterprise is too risky and too expensive.”

Meanwhile, the chief executive of Legal & General has chronicled the project as “a £25bn waste of money”.

Nigel Wilson told BBC 5 breathing: “The world is moving towards clean green and cheap spirit.”

“Solar, wind will play a much more important post. Hinkley is probably the most expensive energy we can think of right across Europe. That’s uncommonly bad for society.”

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