EDF Energy—the developer of the first new nuclear power plant in the UK in a generation, Hinkley Point C, is confident that it can put the first unit into service in 2025, EDF Energy chief executive Simone Rossi said on Wednesday, in what would be an eight-year delay compared to the first plans to have Hinkley Point up and running in 2017.
Back in 2007, EDF bosses predicted that UK households would be cooking their 2017 Christmas turkeys with power generated from Hinkley Point—a prediction that turned out to be a bit too ambitious.
Rather, in 2013, the then UK government approved the construction of Hinkley Point and agreed with the EDF on the commercial terms. In 2016, the new UK government led by Theresa May approved the final investment decision and signed a deal with EDF and China’s CGN for the plant.
In July last year, EDF said that the project completion costs were now estimated at US$27 billion (£19.6 billion), up by US$2 billion (£1.5 billion) compared to previous evaluations, due to designs adapted to meet UK regulatory standards. Back then, the company also warned that there was risk of deferral of delivery, estimated at 15 months for Unit 1 and 9 months for Unit 2, that would add additional cost of US$964 million (£700 million).
“Our goal is to put the first unit into service by the end of 2025,” EDF Energy’s Simone Rossi said today in his first public speech since he was appointed CEO in November 2017.
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“That said, like any major infrastructure project, we know we will face challenges and it is our job to deal with them. We will never compromise on safety and quality,” Rossi said, as carried by ITV.
The Hinkley Point project has come under criticism because of the fixed price of US$127.30 (£92.50) per MWh of electricity, which would be paid by UK consumers via their energy bills. With recent offshore wind prices in the UK nearly half that price—US$79, or £57.50 per MWh—more and more voices have been raised as to the viability of the nuclear plant and the unnecessary burden for consumers.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.