to expand Hinkley Point 'in jeopardy' amid financial concerns
to expand Hinkley Point nuclear power station near Burnham-On-Sea
have been thrown into doubt, according to a report in the Financial
paper says that power company Centrica, which owns British Gas,
is threatening to abandon its investment in the scheme because
of concerns about the economics of the project.
is reportedly concerned that government financial support will
not be enough to cover nuclear powers enormous liabilities,
which include the risk of a major accident.
possible Centrica withdrawal follows decisions by four other large
power companies to cancel or re-consider their nuclear investment
and Southern Electricity and German companies E.ON and RWE have
all announced that they will not continue with their nuclear proposals.
threatened withdrawal by its partner Centrica should send the
strongest possible signal to EDF that it must abandon its nuclear
plans at Hinkley Point before more time and energy is wasted on
this expensive and dangerous exercise," Crispin Aubrey from
the Stop Hinkley protest group spokesman said on Saturday (April
have said all along that nuclear power can never be economic without
massive state subsidies. Even the carrots being offered by the
government have failed to persuade Centrica that nuclear power
is a good investment."
In a statement issued later, EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz
said: "We are moving forward with our strong and credible
new nuclear project, and remain committed to delivering the first
new nuclear plants in the UK for 20 years at Hinkley Point."
"We are making progress on all fronts towards taking the
Final Investment Decision at the end of this year, as planned."
"As we have always said, the decision depends on having
the correct market framework in place that will allow us to deliver
a profitable project, providing an appropriate return on the massive
investment required. This in turn depends on agreeing, as soon
as practicable, the contract for difference through the transitional
arrangement process. These transitional arrangements are a key
part of the Electricity Market Reform and are being introduced
to allow investors to take timely decisions. Our position has
not changed and was reaffirmed by EDF and Centrica when both companies
announced annual results earlier this year."
"We believe that new nuclear is vital as part of the mix
to meet the UKs goals for climate change, security of supply
and affordability. It is also a key part of the growth agenda,
bringing billion of pounds of investment and thousands of jobs."