Hinkley Point £1.5bn over budget
EDF has confirmed that the costs of the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Somerset could rise by £1.5bn to £19.6bn.
In addition, the French energy firm said that the project might not be completed until 2027 – 15 months later than expected, costing a possible further £700m.
“Hinkley is already over time and over budget after just a few months of building work,” Greenpeace UK executive director, John Sauven, said.
“This news is yet another damning indictment of the government’s agreement to go ahead with the project.”
EDF said that the additional costs were a result of a better understanding of the design, adapted to the requirements of British regulators.
Further costs were incurred through the volume and sequencing of work on site, and the gradual implementation of supplier contracts, the firm said.
As a result, EDF’s projected rate of return is now estimated at approximately 8.5% compared to around 9% initially, but could fall to 8.2% if the project is delayed by the additional 15 months.
Hinkley Point C was approved by the UK government in September last year, and is forecast to provide 7% of the country’s electricity needs for 60 years.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy estimates that £10 to £15 of average annual household electricity bills will go to supporting the project up to 2030.
It also estimates that average bills would have to increase by up to £24 if the project is delayed by three years and replaced with low-carbon alternatives.
There has been much opposition to the plant’s construction by various anti-nuclear groups, while the National Audit Office said in June that it was “risky and expensive” with uncertain strategic and economic benefits.
However, the EDF subsidiary NNB Generation Company Limited estimates that it would cost £7.3bn to decommission the project and manage its waste.
Picture credit: EDF Energy