Bosses at Hinkley Point C have pushed back the start of electricity generation by six months to June 2026 and said it will cost £500m more than previously thought.
French energy firm EDF said it has made “significant progress” at the site near Burnham-On-Sea despite the impact of Coronavirus and lockdown restrictions.
The plant is now due to open in June 2026 and not in 2025 as planned and will cost between £22bn and £23bn.
Original estimates for the cost of the new power station had been £18bn in 2016 but they have been repeatedly revised up.
Previous costings for the plant had been £21.5bn and £22.5bn in July 2019, and £20.3bn before that.
The first reactor’s base was completed in June 2019 and the second reactor base was completed on time last summer.
The number of workers at the site has been reduced to enable social distancing during the pandemic.
Where that is not possible, workers have used additional protective equipment.
Plans for Hinkley Point C were announced more than a decade ago and they gained government approval in 2016.
Hinkley Point A ceased producing electricity in 2000, while Hinkley Point B will be decommissioned no later than July 2022 due to its age. It is expected to generate electricity for up to six million homes, equating to about 7% of the UK’s energy supply.
Managing Director of Hinkley Point C Stuart Crooks says: “None of this extra cost is carried by British consumers.”
He goes on to say: “At the start of the crisis we postponed some of our work in order to create space and keep people safe while on site.”
“The aim was to bring in additional resources to catch up that lost time but ten months on it’s clear that the pandemic is still in full force.”
“So far, we estimate we’ve lost around three months of scheduled time and we estimate we could lose up to another three months in 2021, assuming the conditions allow us to ramp back up resources following Easter.”
Hinkley Point C Timeline
David Cameron visited the site and announced the new plant would bring thousands of jobs to the whole of the South West and supply seven per cent of the nation’s energy needs.
During the last year however the project has been beset with problems. The French firm EDF put off a decision on at least three occasions before finally approving it in July.
Government announced they have decided to proceed with the first new nuclear power station for a generation
First concrete successfully poured for power station
The Christmas families in the UK were promised they would be cooking their turkeys with power from EDF’s new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point C.
EDF said Hinkley C will come online by the end of 2025.