EDF comitted to go forward with Hinkley Point C project, despite approval delay

Despite Therea May delaying the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant approval until next month, chief executive of energy giant EDF, Vincent de Rivaz, has stated that the company remains committed to go forward with the multi-billion pound project.

EDF’s board have already approved the new £18 billion power station consisting of two European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) units, called Hinkley Point C, in Somerset.

However, the UK government delayed the project in order to fully study the scheme.

Artist’s impression of Hinkley Point C
Artist’s impression of Hinkley Point C – Copyright EDF Energy

What’s at stake?

China warned the UK earlier this month that bilateral ties stand at a “crucial historical juncture” over the controversial Hinkley Point C project.

“Right now, the China-UK relationship is at a crucial historical juncture . . . I hope the UK will keep its door open to China,” Mr Liu wrote in the Financial Times.

Chinese officials have said that a cancellation of the project would likely have a negative impact on other Chinese investments.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, EDF boss Mr de Rivaz said:

“EDF Energy and our Chinese partner are taking the construction risk to build Hinkley Point C as investors. That’s because we are confident in our ability to deliver. Taxpayers pay nothing. If returns for investors exceed expectations, gainshare mechanisms share the benefit through a reduced electricity price.

“Hinkley Point will have a lasting impact on our industrial capacity and will create thousands of jobs and hundreds of apprenticeships.

“Billions of pounds will be invested into the economy of south-west of England. Across Britain, dozens of companies and our own workforce are ready to deliver this project. Their motivation remains high and they are looking forward to getting on with the job.

“Detractors have filled many column inches and broadcast hours. We have chosen to let policymakers focus on the facts. However, some critics risk losing sight of the bigger picture by overlooking the positive impact and importance of this investment for Britain – and ignoring the basic and unchanged facts which underpin the project.

“China’s participation is much more than £6 billion of inward investment.

“It brings the benefits of a 30 year partnership between EDF and CGN in nuclear construction in China – a country with the largest civil nuclear programme in the world.

“We can’t afford to cross our fingers and muddle through in the hope that a new technology will come along and meet all our needs at the right price.”