Hinkley project gets go-ahead from EDF, but faces new hurdle
to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant near Burnham-On-Sea
have suffered an unexpected delay after the government postponed
a final decision until the early autumn.
French firm EDF, which is financing most of the £18bn Hinkley
Point project in Somerset, approved the funding at a board meeting.
Contracts were to be signed on Friday. But Business Secretary
Greg Clark has said the government will "consider carefully"
before backing it.
According to reports, EDF's chief executive Vincent de Rivaz has
cancelled a trip to the UK on Friday following Mr Clark's comments.
Critics of the plan have warned of environmental damage and potential
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.
EDF still hopes to have more than 2,500 workers on site by next
news comes after a board meeting at French utility EDF - the company
financing most of the project - which gave its go-ahead for the
that agreement, legally binding contracts will be signed and construction
work could begin, if government backing comes.
said it hopes 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.