The construction timetable for Hinkley Point C’s nuclear power plant is facing more uncertainty after developer EDF Energy admitted a final investment decision could still be months away.
The developer had originally intended financing for the £24.5bn Somerset plant to be in place in 2014.
That date was pushed back to March 2015, but in a statement yesterday EDF admitted it was still “finalising documents” with Hinkley Point’s Chinese financiers.
“This will allow a final investment decision to be possible in the next few months,” EDF said in the statement, issued alongside its financial results yesterday.
Uncertainty around the project’s timeline has deepened with the looming prospect of a legal challenge from Austria over EU state aid rules.
The Austrian government has said it will appeal against the European Commission’s decision to award subsidies totalling £17.6bn to Hinkley Point.
According to a report in The Guardian, UK diplomats have warned Austria of retaliation if it pursues its appeal.
According to the EC’s calculations, Hinkley Point’s construction costs will total £24.5bn – a 50 per cent increase on the £16bn figure first estimated by EDF.