EDF sees Hinkley C nuclear plant online by end of 2025

18th January 2018 | Commercial Energy

EDF Energy said on Wednesday its Hinkley C nuclear power station in Somerset, southwest England, will come online by the end of 2025 and give the developer the experience to lower the costs of subsequent nuclear plants planned in the country.

Hinkley Point C will be the first nuclear plant built in Britain in decades. It is expected to provide 7 percent of Britain’s power needs while helping to replace the country’s ageing nuclear fleet and closing coal plants.

“We are confident we can deliver this timeline as our project at Hinkley Point C benefits from innovative tools and the lessons from other (nuclear reactor) projects,” EDF Energy Chief Executive Simone Rossi told a briefing at the plant site.

EDF Energy

The plant, being built by the British arm of France’s EDF with China Nuclear Power Corp, has been beset by delays and higher cost estimates. It was initially expected to start producing electricity in 2017. The project has also been criticised over its guaranteed price for electricity, which is higher than market rates.

Hinkley Point C was thrown into doubt in 2016 when newly installed British Prime Minister Theresa May delayed a decision on whether to approve it, amid criticism that the guaranteed price was too high. The British government eventually gave approval and there are now 3,000 people working at the site, Rossi said.

EDF Energy will start building the power plant’s structures above ground by June 2019, after the foundations are in place for the first reactor unit, he added.

Last year, state-owned utility EDF raised the cost estimate for Hinkley to 19.6 billion pounds after a review. EDF also plane to build two more nuclear reactors at Sizewell in eastern England.

Rossi said the construction costs for Sizewell C could be cut after gaining experience in building Hinkley and adapting the EPR reactor design to meet UK regulatory requirements.

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