EDF warns Hinkley nuclear plant could cost extra £2.9 billion, see more delays

25th September 2019 | Commercial Energy

EDF said on Wednesday its Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Britain could cost up to 2.9 billion pounds more than its last estimate, and face further delays. EDF is already grappling with investigations into welding and steel used in its French reactors, and delays and cost over-runs to other new projects in France and Finland.

The British projects cost hike also comes just days after the country saw an auction for offshore wind projects clear at a record low, raising questions of the cost competitiveness of new nuclear. EDF said Hinkley Point C was estimated to cost £21-2-22.5 billion ($26.8-$28 billion), up £1.9-2.9 billion pounds from its latest estimate.

Hinkley Point C

EDF shares were down more than 6% by 0914 GMT and are now down 27% since the start of 2019. EDF initially promised Hinkley C would be powering ovens to cook Britons’ Christmas dinners in 2017 and was originally forecast to costs £18 billion.

The 3.2 gigawatt (GW) plant, which EDF is building with China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN), is now expected to begin generation at the end of 2025.

“We are delivering on our milestones and although the risk of a delay has increased, the schedule is unchanged and we remain focused on delivering the first power in 2025,” Stuart Crooks, managing director of Hinkley Point C, said in a letter to staff. Crooks said the cost increase was related to challenging ground conditions at the site. The price hike does not mean higher costs for consumers as under the subsidy scheme agreed the company only receives money once the plant begins producing electricity.

“Any increase in costs will be borne entirely by EDF Energy and their investment partners and not by consumers or taxpayers,” Britain’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said on Twitter.

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