July 22, 2016
Hinkley Point C decision nears: final go-ahead expected next Thursday

French energy giant EDF will make its long-awaited final investment decision on the planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point near Burnham-On-Sea next week.

The company announced on Thursday night that it has called a meeting of its board of directors in a week's time on Thursday, 28th July.

The agenda includes the final investment decision for the construction of two reactors at Hinkley Point C.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: "New nuclear is an essential part of our plan for a secure, clean and affordable energy system that will power the economy throughout this century. This is a welcome decision from EDF, and we look forward to the outcome."

An EDF spokesman said: "The Hinkley Point C project is a major element of the Group's CAP 2030 strategy. The two EPR reactors at Hinkley Point would strengthen EDF's presence in Britain, a country where its subsidiary EDF Energy already operates 15 nuclear reactors and is the largest electricity supplier by volume."

"Hinkley Point C would also enable the Group to mobilise all its significant nuclear engineering skills following the final investment decision. The first concrete of reactor 1 of Hinkley Point C, scheduled for mid-2019, would coincide with perfect continuity with the start-up of the EPR at Flamanville, scheduled for the end of 2018."

"This project has been the subject since 2013 of a significant sharing of information with employees and their representatives, illustrating the commitment of the company to quality social dialogue."

"In line with this, EDF announced on April 22, 2016, that the Central Works Council would be consulted on the terms of the partnership with the CGN Group for the Hinkley Point C project, in the framework of an information and consultation process which began on May 2 and which concluded on July 4, 2016."

The final decision has been repeatedly delayed amid doubts over the viability of the project, even as the utility formed a partnership with China General Nuclear Power Corp and secured guaranteed power prices from the UK government at about twice the current market rate for 35 years.

Earlier this month, EDF said it was still backing the project despite Britain's decision to leave the European Union. The then Secretary of State for Energy Amber Rudd also confirmed the project would still go ahead after talks with EDF.

But doubts have dogged the plans for the £18 billion project and several delays to a final decision have raised further questions. Hinkley Point C would be a crucial part of the UK's future energy mix, providing 7% of the country's total electricity needs when up and running in 2025. It is expected to create 25,000 jobs.


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