EDF shareholders have signed off on €4bn of equity fundraising to help pay for the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant near Burnham-On-Sea — a project that the company expects to approve tomorrow (Thursday).

Investors agreed to the package of financing on Tuesday, with the French state, which owns 85 per cent of the indebted company, agreeing to subscribe to €3bn-worth of the new shares.

EDF’s agreement paves the way for its board to make the long-delayed final investment decision on the £18bn nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point, which will supply seven per cent of the country’s electricity.

Jean-Bernard Lévy, the company’s chief executive, said at an extraordinary shareholders meeting: “We need to boost our equity as market conditions are tough and we need to maintain the quality of our debt and our credit rating.”

He added that the money would not be spent solely on Hinkley Point — a project that has sparked anger among French unions — but would also be used to upgrade ageing French reactors and install smart power meters.

EDF announced this Thursday’s meeting just hours after Prime Minister Theresa May met François Hollande, the French president, for the first time since she took office earlier in the month.

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