Hinkley Point C project gets the go-ahead from EDF Energy
Hinkley Point C nuclear project near Burnham-On-Sea was given
the go-ahead by EDF today (Thursday) when the energy firm announced
its final investment decision to proceed with the £18bn
decision came at a board meeting of French utility EDF - the company
financing most of the £18bn project.
that agreement, legally binding contracts will be signed and construction
work can begin, but critics warn of environmental damage and potential
escalating costs. They are also concerned that the plant is being
built by foreign governments. One third of the £18bn cost
is being provided by Chinese investors.
intends to have more than 2,500 workers on site by next year.
Announcing the approval of investment, EDF described the plant
as "a unique asset for French and British industries",
saying it would benefit the nuclear sectors in both countries
and would give a boost to employment.
of the vote on whether to approve the Hinkley project, Gerard
Magnin, an EDF board member, resigned, saying the project was
"very risky" financially. Earlier this year, EDF's finance
director, Thomas Piquemal, also resigned amid reports he thought
Hinkley could damage EDF itself.
Hinkley Point C is expected to provide 7% of the UK's total electricity
The project has been hit in recent months by concerns about EDF's
Despite the Chinese investment, Hinkley Point would remain an
enormous undertaking for the stressed French company, which has
had to raise money from its owners.
Earlier this week, EDF shareholders approved plans to issue new
shares to raise 4bn euros (£3.4bn) to help pay for the project.
The French state, which owns 85% of EDF, will buy €3bn worth
of new shares in the fundraising.
have dogged the plans for the £18 billion project and several
delays to a final decision have raised further questions.
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.