dismay at EDF's delay in financial approval for Hinkley Point
MP has reacted with dismay to the news that French energy group
EDF has this week postponed giving final approval to the construction
of the £18bn Hinkley Point C.
final investment decision to build Hinkley Point C was not taken
on Wednesday (January 27th) as had been widely expected because
of last-minute concerns expressed by some of the companys
During recent weeks concerns have grown in France that the company
may struggle to meet the costs of building the plant, and particularly
to pay any penalties levied by the UK government if it is late.
James Heappey told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "News that EDF have
kicked 'the Hinkley can down the road again' is unwelcome and
is understandably causing concern for local businesses and residents.
I understand that EDF are now to make the Final Investment Decision
in mid-February to coincide with the publication of their annual
"Ministers remain confident that all is as it should be and
EDF, whilst tight lipped are not giving me any cause for concern
either. However if the FID is further delayed beyond the publication
of EDFs results, I think wed be right to start worrying
that things are going awry."
He added: "Clearly EDF is under significant financial pressure
caused by the collapse in the wholesale price of electricity,
their market value has fallen steeply leading to them dropping
out of the CAC-40, the French unions are agitating over potential
job losses in France and the French Government who have
a big say in what EDF does - will be sensitive to that sort of
thing with Presidential elections just over a year away."
"That said, it is reported that EDF have already sunk £1
billion into the Hinkley site and that is sort of investment that
you do not walk away from. I remain, therefore, confident that
all is moving forward but if the FID is not announced by the time
Parliament returns from recess on 22nd February, I will be seeking
to ask some urgent questions of EDF and the Government."
France, the CFE-CGC union, which sits on EDFs board, has
reportedly submitted a set of last-minute questions to the company
regarding the financial risks. It is concerned that "significant"
financial issues around the Hinkley development may "put
EDF in danger" in the longer term.
board members will next get a chance to take the decision at their
board meeting on February 16th.