EDF says UK nuclear plant not running to schedule

15th September 2015, Comments 0 comments

French owned EDF Energy admitted Tuesday that its planned Hinkley Point nuclear power plant in Britain will not be operational by 2023 as originally planned.

An EDF-led consortium won a vast £24.5-billion deal in 2014 to build Britain's first power station in decades at Hinkley Point in southwest England.

However, EDF Energy -- the British subsidiary of Paris-listed EDF -- has been forced to delay its initial estimated start-up date for the huge construction project.

"People have said that because Hinkley Point won't come on line when we originally said it would, it is too late," EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said in a speech on Tuesday.

"I acknowledge that we will have taken longer than we originally thought."

However, de Rivaz -- who spoke during a visit to EDF's Dungeness B nuclear power station in southern England -- added that when Hinkley Point arrives, "it will be welcome and it will be needed".

The British government gave the green light to the Hinkley Point in October 2013.

EDF is the lead contractor in the consortium.

"We are approaching the final investment decision for our new nuclear project Hinkley Point C," de Rivaz added Tuesday.

British media reported last month that the deal would be confirmed in October when China's President Xi Jinping visits London.

Chinese firms CGN and CNNC are expected to get a stake of around 40 percent in -- and provide much of the construction financing for -- the two new EPR reactors, which are hoped to generate seven percent of Britain's electricity.

© 2015 AFP

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