MP puts EDF boss on spot over Hinkley delays
has vowed "categorically" that the Hinkley Point nuclear
plant near Burnham-On-Sea will go ahead, dismissing expert claims
that it would be in the public's interest to scrap the £18bn
de Rivaz, chief executive of UK division EDF Energy told MPs on
the Energy Select Committee on Wednesday (March 23rd) that a long-delayed
decision on the controversial project would be taken "very
soon" and insisted it would be "good news" for
highlighted comments by French economy minister Emmanuel Macron,
who said on Tuesday that he expected a final investment decision
by "early May", but drew exasperation from MPs by refusing
to explicitly confirm EDFs own expectation of a decision
by Burnham-On-Sea's MP James Heappey why it is "reasonable
for us to assume it but not reasonable for you to just say it",
Mr de Rivaz responded: "I am very pleased to give you the
privilege to make the assumption and to draw the right conclusion
as you have done."
EDF is in negotiations with the French government, its majority
shareholder, to secure more financial support to enable it to
proceed with the Somerset nuclear plant.
de Rivaz, right, said that EDF was facing the challenge
of making "huge investments" across the group at a time
when power prices had dropped "dramatically", putting
more strain on its finances.
to come up with a "combination of solutions" were now
"in the final stage" and were likely to include further
cost-efficiency measures, disposal of non-strategic assets and
the French state accepting EDF dividends paid in shares and not
confirmed that the measures would not require any further input
from the UK government, which has already committed consumers
to pay subsidies to the power plant for 35 years and offered EDF
a £2bn loan guarantee.
has so far invested £2.4bn in preparatory works for the
nuclear plant and is spending £55m a month on the project.
comments have been welcomed by Councillor David Hall, Deputy Leader
of Somerset County Council, Steve Hindley, Chair of the Heart
of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and Dale Edwards,
Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce.
Hall said: "It is clear to see now just how close EDF Energy
and the British and French governments are to that all important
final investment decision. The committee meeting and the recent
support for Hinkley Point C shown by both governments give us
confidence that a positive decision will be made very soon."
County Council and HotSW LEP continue to work together in support
of a Final Investment Decision for the Hinkley Point C site in
of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Steve
Hindley, added: "A green light for the Hinkley development
will be of regional and national importance, positioning the Heart
of the South West as the market leader for the UKs future
are looking to the Government and EDF Energy to continue their
efforts to help achieve that final investment decision soon."
LEPs role is to drive economic growth, and Hinkley Point
has the potential to have a huge impact - generating £20bn
investment with 60% projected supply chain opportunities, creating
25,000 jobs during construction and £100m a year for the
Chamber Chief Executive, Dale Edwards added: "Whilst we await
the final investment decision from EDF Energy, we are continually
working behind the scenes with partners and businesses, helping
to get local suppliers 'Hinkley ready' so that they are in a strong
position to bid for and win future contracts."