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EDF admits to further Hinkley delays

Construction on Hinkley Point C could be further delayed after EDF’s chief executive admitted it was still unclear when an investment decision would be made.

Jean-Bernard Lévy confirmed yesterday that the £24.5bn plant would not come online by 2023, as previously indicated.

Mr Levy said that while he had “full confidence in the success” of Hinkley Point C, he could not give a definite schedule on the start of the project and that the “commissioning date would be updated”.

Mr Levy added that “even though the final investment decision had been pushed back from the initial forecasts, the construction time will stay the same”.

The admission from Mr Levy came at a special briefing in France following the announcement that generation at EDF’s proposed Flamanville nuclear site would be delayed until 2018, a year later than expected.

Mr Levy insisted that the delays at Flamanville would not affect Hinkley Point C and that “lessons would be learnt” from the project.

Construction at Hinkley will only start when a final investment decision is agreed between the British government and Chinese investors.

It is believed this could be finalised during the state visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping next month.

Commenting on these talks, Mr Levy said: “We are in final discussions with the British government and our Chinese partners. We hope to make this final investment decision as soon as possible.”

The news of delays will come just a month after EDF Energy announced £1.3b-worth of contracts on the site.

These saw a Balfour Beatty/NG Bailey JV pick up the electrical cabling and equipment installation contract, with Laing O’Rourke being handed the deal to build the workers’ campus accommodation.

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