Hinkley Point costs could rise to £21bn, EDF admits

The Telegraph, 12 May

The cost of the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant could reach almost 21bn, 3bn more than planned, EDF has admitted, as it published a construction timetable suggesting first power could be delayed until 2026.

EDF said in October that the cost of the twin reactor plant in Somerset would be £18bn. The French state-backed energy giant said it would provide £12bn equity and Chinese investors CGN would provide £6bn.

But EDF admitted on Thursday: "The partners equity commitment includes a contingency margin and could reach a total of £13.8bn for the EDF Group and £6.9bn to CGN."

In a document published ahead of its shareholder meeting, EDF also disclosed that the schedule for Hinkley "anticipates a 115 month construction period after the final investment decision until commissioning of the first reactor".

The company had said in October that it expected a final investment decision within weeks and first power in 2025, but that decision has now been delayed until September as the company struggles to shore up its finances.

If the construction schedule remains at 9 years 7 months from the point of final investment decision, that suggests first power would now not be due until the first half of 2026.

EDF has been offered a subsidy contract by the Government guaranteeing it 92.50 per megawatt-hour for each unit of power Hinkley generates. It said on Thursday that the projected rate of return for the project would be about 9 per cent.

It is understood that is based on it sticking within the 18bn cost estimate.

EDF had previously indicated that it will be responsible for absorbing the cost of any overruns but that it would "gain-share" with the consumer if the project came in cheaper than planned.

Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, declined to comment on the potential cost increase when asked by Labour's Lisa Nandy in parliament on Thursday, but insisted that the project would go ahead.

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EDF says cannot give timing for UK nuclear investment decision

Reuters, 24 May

EDF cannot give a definitive time for when the French utility will make an investment decision regarding the Hinkley C nuclear project in Britain, EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz told British lawmakers on Tuesday.

The project, estimated to cost at least 18 billion pounds ($26.16 billion), was announced in October 2013. It is expected to produce seven percent of Britain's electricity when built, but a final investment decision has been delayed as EDF secures partners and financing.

De Rivaz told members of parliament's energy and climate change committee some of the company's trade union members had suggested the project should be delayed by 2-3 years.

The final decision would be taken once a consultation by the company's central works council had taken place.

That consultation began on May 2 and will at least 60 days, de Rivaz said, but would not say how long it could last.

"I don't want to prejudge the outcome of the consultation. The sooner we have the final investment decision the better," he said, speaking in front of parliament's Energy and Climate Change Committee.

De Rivaz was called to reappear before the committee after indicating in March that a final decision could be taken by early May to explain why that had not happened.

Britain is looking to Hinkley to replace ageing power plants and to help the country meet its emission-reduction targets.

Britain's minister of state at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Andrea Leadsom, was also called before the committee. She said the government had not given EDF a deadline to take a financial decision on the project and remained "fully confident" the project would go ahead.

De Rivaz said EDF still hopes the project will start power generation in 2025, but said an update on timings would be provided after the investment decision had been taken.

The company said this month it would take 115 months to build once the decision is made.

Both de Rivaz and Leadsom said the project would not be affected should Britain leave the European Union after a referendum on June 23.

Separately, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron told the British lawmakers in a letter that French authorities remained fully behind the project and he had every confidence a final investment decision could be made rapidly after the central works committee consultation.

"I can appreciate that a certain amount of impatience may be creeping in as the project is key for the UK's energy and climate policy," Macron wrote in the letter dated May 23.

The French state owns 85 percent of EDF.

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Page Updated 26-May-2016

Hinkley Point C –
A Tale of Nuclear Dreams!

Some dreams come true; others turn to disaster and turn into nightmares. Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been a dream to many politicians, is it about to come true?
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What will be the total cost of nuclear waste?
We won't know until the final bill has been totted up in thousands of years. EdF won't take on that liability. EdF and the UK government are planning to dump it onto future generations.



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