Plans for Hinkley Point C are “unchanged”, despite fears that the project could be facing an 11 year delay. Reports surfaced this week suggesting that the nuclear power station in Somerset will not be operational until 2036, 11 years after its original 2025 completion date. However a Hinkley Point C spokesperson has maintained that the project is on track. The spokesperson said: “Hinkley Point C’s schedule was recently reviewed in detail and remains unchanged. The power station’s clean home-grown electricity is needed to provide Britain with secure and affordable energy and to help the country kick its dependency on gas. The team at Hinkley Point C is working hard to make the plant operational as soon as possible.” The project has already faced delay challenges. In January 2021, EDF announced that the completion date would be pushed back to June 2026 due to delays arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, the company then confirmed that there would be a further year-long delay and £3bn cost increase.
This Put The Start Date for The Unit 1 Reactor at June 2027.
with the cost sitting at £25bn to £26bn, an increase on the previous £23bn figure. This week’s fears of further setbacks surfaced after a new contract between the government and EDF stipulated that Hinkley will still be funded even if it does not start operating until 2036. Under the original deal, this state support would be scrapped if the plant did not generate electricity by 1 November 2033. The government said this decision was driven by the impact of the pandemic and the outcome of negotiations with CGN over Sizewell C. CGN was to be a minority partner to EDF in Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C, and to lead a third plant, Bradwell B in Essex. However with ministers keen to limit China’s infrastructure involvement, the government confirmed on Tuesday that CGN will exit Sizewell C. While CGN’s involvement with Hinkley Point C is believed to be unaffected, as part of the negotiations it seems the project now has more leeway to begin operating. According to the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC), the government’s counterparty in the contract, this means that contractual pressure still remains on EDF to commission the reactors as soon as possible. The LCCC said: “Extending the long-stop date will not impact the delivery date of the project. The terms of the contract provide an incentive to complete commissioning as soon as possible.”