The Hinkley Point, project to build a new nuclear power station at Somerset could be delayed by 15 months and cost an extra £2.9bn according to French energy giant EDF. The Hinkley Point C plant is being built by EDF alongside China General Nuclear Power Corp.
EDF says the cost to complete the project is now estimated to be between £21.5bn and £22.5bn, which is an increase of £1.9bn to £2.9bn compared to the previous estimate.
The company said in a statement, “The management of the project remains mobilised to begin generating power from Unit 1 at the end of 2025.
“To achieve this, operational action plans overseen by the project management are being put in place. These involve the EDF Group’s engineering teams in Great Britain and France, buildings and ancillary works contractors, and suppliers of equipment and systems throughout the supply chain.”
The managing director of the Hinkley projec, tStuart Crooks said, “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.
“We remain conscious of our responsibility to shareholders and consumers. As ever, I ask you to remain focused on safety, quality, time and cost as we build a power station whose value to future generations will be immense.
“Getting this far has cost more money than we anticipated. Our earthworks are complete, but challenging ground conditions meant we overspent to finish them on time.
“Throughout the challenging and transparent licensing process, we have made changes to the design to satisfy the exacting standards that the public would expect of a new nuclear power plant. Our regulation within the UK is recognised as strong and credible across the globe, so we can be satisfied that the plant we are building will deliver safe, reliable generation.
“Adapting the EPR design to UK conditions and regulations added costs which are now understood. For example, adding an extra layer of conventional instrumentation and control means we had to build larger spaces to house extra equipment, meaning new layouts and designs.
“Now that the detailed design implementation is more advanced and we have placed more of our contracts, we have a better appreciation of our future costs.”