EDF has admitted that the construction of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station near Burnham-On-Sea has been delayed again.

The French energy company said Hinkley Point C in Somerset will not start generating power in 2023 as planned.

EDF says it will provide a revised timetable for the £24.5bn plant when it takes a final investment decision on the project.

The news comes as a report for the OECD says that the UK’s projected nuclear costs are the highest in the world.

The delay to Hinkley Point delay is bad news for the government. The UK’s old coal-fired power plants will be forced to close before 2023 under EU air quality rules and the gap in generating capacity will have to be filled some other way.

EDF has been struggling with securing finance for the project but hoped to secure Chinese funds when the Premier Xi Jin Ping visits London next month.

Its chief executive, Jean-Bernard Levy, said he still had “full confidence in the success of the Hinkley Point project.”

But it has been dogged by finance problems and negotiations with the EU over state aid.

The OECD report shows that the cost of a nuclear plant in Britain is projected to be almost three times higher than in China or South Korea.

The Stop Hinkley Campaign said the latest news makes the Hinkley Point C project even less likely to go-ahead.

“Every week there are new revelations about this disastrous project,” said Stop Hinkley spokesman Roy Pumfrey. “EDF is becoming the joke of the utility world. The company is clearly in a hole – it needs to stop digging, give up on this scheme and let the rest of us get on with planning a sustainable future for Somerset.”