Green light for Hinkley C but work still on hold

Aaron Morby 11 years ago

The government has approved planning permission for EDF Energy to build the first new nuclear power plant for a generation today.

But construction work on the massive project remains on hold while the Government and EDF struggle to reach agreement on the price of electricity produced by the two new nuclear reactors.

Edward Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, hinted today that the Government was making progress on negotiations over the strike price for electricity.

He said the decision to grant planning today, together with those already taken by the nuclear regulators and the Environment Agency meant that EDF now had the majority of the consents it needed to build and operate the plant.

“That, of course, is not the end of the story. Decisions remain to be made on the funded decommissioning programme and strike price.

“Discussions on both these subjects are ongoing and intense, but I expect them to be concluded shortly.” he said.

The Treasury’s opening offer of £80 per megawatt hour has fallen well short of the £100 figure understood to be the strike price EDF is looking for.

EDF has warned that if a deal is not agreed within weeks it could walk away from the £14bn project, despite spending a reported £800m bringing it to the brink of construction start.

The stakes are high with Hinkley Point C promising a huge jobs boost with more than 5,600 people expected to be directly employed on the project. A Bouygues TP/Laing O’Rourke joint venture is main contractor on the main build.

Another joint venture of Bam Nuttall and Kier has bagged the £100m earthworks contract and Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering the £30m job to build a temporary 500m jetty for construction materials to be shipped in.

A Costain/Sir Robert McAlpine joint venture is in line to win a £200m civils package for tunnels to channel seawater in and out of the plant.

To date EDF says more than 1,200 firms have expressed an interest in being part of the supply chain, with around 57% of the work expected to go to British firms.

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