The cost of building Hinkley Point C could cost up to £2.9bn more than expected, EDF has warned this week as it signalled that the chance of a delay to the project has also increased.
The French energy giant said that the new price for Hinkley Point C is estimated at between £21.5bn and £22.5bn, an increase of £1.9bn to £2.9bn.
“Cost increases reflect challenging ground conditions which made earthworks more expensive than anticipated, revised action plan targets and extra costs needed to implement the completed functional design,” the company said in a statement.
It said that the risk of a delay at units one and two, of 15 and nine months respectively, has increased.
The news comes two years after EDF, which is building Hinkley with a Chinese power company, jacked up the price to £19.6bn.
However EDF stressed today that under its terms with the UK government – which has locked the price of electricity from Hinkley at £92.50 per megawatt hour – the rise will not impact consumers.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy added: “The Government negotiated a competitive deal on Hinkley Point C which ensures consumers won’t pay a penny until the station generates electricity. Any increase in costs will be borne entirely by EDF and their investment partners and not by consumers or taxpayers.”
Stop Hinkley spokesperson Allan Jeffery told Bunham-On-Sea.com: “This project would be rapidly becoming an enormous joke if it wasn’t such a tragedy for those of us who have to live next to it.”
“Why anybody in Government ever thought EDF was capable of building it on time and budget after the disasters of Flamanville and Olkiluoto will remain a mystery. It must now surely be time to scrap this project. Despite having to pay cancellation fees consumers could still save around £50bn. The cost of electricity from Hinkley Point C will now have reached around £106/MWh compared to less than £40/MWh for new offshore wind power.”
The project is forecast to start producing electricity in 2025. Its 3.2 gigawatts should be enough to power about 6m homes, or seven per cent of the UK’s electricity needs.