UK Government launches further review of Hinkley Point

UK Government launches further review of Hinkley Point

The UK Government has launched a further review of the £18 billion Hinkley Point power plant to the surprise of EDF who yesterday approved the project in a board decision.

French firm EDF, which is financing most of the £18 billion Hinkley Point project in Somerset, had described the plant as “a unique asset for French and British industries”, saying it would benefit the nuclear sectors in both countries and would give a boost to employment.

However Business Secretary Greg Clark said the government will “consider carefully” before backing it. EDF chief executive Vincent de Rivaz has cancelled a trip to Hinkley Point on Friday following the comment.

The decision for a further review came from the top of government and the timing seemed calculated to cause maximum impact. It is thought that there are concerns that the plant is being built by foreign governments. One third of the £18 billion cost is being provided by Chinese investors.

Despite the Chinese investment, Hinkley Point would remain an enormous undertaking for the stressed French company, which has had to raise money from its owners.

Tom Greatrex, the chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, urged the government to make a decision as soon as possible.

“We need to get on and do this and that’s why I’m hoping the government make their decision very soon because if it goes on for a lengthy period of time we are going to run the risk of having real problems in terms of our energy supplies,” he said.

“Then what happens is that we end up paying a lot more and we end up paying for much more dirty power which we can’t afford to do if we are to meet our climate commitments.”