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Hinkley Point wait 'extremely disappointing'

Hinkley Point C, EDF

Civils firms have described the wait for the decision to build Hinkley Point C nuclear plant as “extremely disappointing”.

Contractors were originally expecting a final investment decision from project promoter EDF on the Somerset scheme by the end of 2014.

But despite a much-publicised agreement between the French energy giant and China General Nuclear Corporation in October, this final investment decision is still awaited.

In December 2015, EdF marine works programme manager for nuclear Gareth Taylor said he was waiting “like everyone else” for the final go-ahead to start main construction works on Hinkley Point C.

There was then speculation that the project would be approved today but that now appears unlikely.

Civil Engineering Contractors Association chief executive Alasdair Reisner said the ongoing wait was “extremely disappointing news for the UK’s long-term energy security”.

He added: “Just this week an Institution of Mechanical Engineers report warned of a looming energy gap, caused in part by a lack of real commitment to nuclear new build. The UK’s future energy landscape is looking bleak.

“Only a long-term energy strategy, supported by industry and the main political parties, will guarantee avoidance of future blackouts.”

EDF declined to comment directly on the latest speculation, but pointed to comments by chairman Jean-Bernard Lévy in the French media that the project was “ready” for a final investment decision to be taken.


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