Electricite de France said on 3 July that the final bill for construction of the two-unit Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in the UK could increase to more than £20bn ($26bn), given changes to supplier contracts and plant design, and potential construction delays. The estimated completion cost is currently £19.6bn, up from £18bn last September, according to an EDF statement. Any delays could add a further £700m.
“We’ve been able to finalise contracts with some suppliers only after the final investment decision was made” last year, Vincent de Rivaz, the head of EDF’s UK subsidiary, said on a conference call, Bloomberg reported. “As we entered the detailed design phase, several adjustments that are specific to the UK and to the regulators’ request have emerged.”
EDF said there was a risk of a 15-month delay for unit 1 of the plant, which was initially planned for completion at the end of 2025, as well as a nine-month delay for unit 2, scheduled for startup in mid-2026. However, the statement said: "The milestone for the first nuclear safety concrete for the building of Unit 1, scheduled for mid-2019, is confirmed, assuming that the final design, which is on a tight schedule, is completed by the end of 2018.
The delay comes just weeks after de Rivaz told employees he would be replaced in October, but he has said the decision is "entirely unrelated" to the project review.
Hinkley Point C will earn £92.5 a megawatt-hour for power generated over 35 years, with the government paying the difference between the market value of the electricity. EDF owns 66.5% of the project and China General Nuclear Power Corp 33.5%.