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Ministers reiterate Hinkley support

Hinkley Point artist's impression

Ministers have yet again stated their support for Hinkley point C amid a troubled period for the flagship new nuclear project.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) this weekend published a list of reasons it was supporting the Somerset scheme.

Almost a decade after project promoter EDF Energy said Hinkley Point C would be operational by 2017, contractors are still awaiting a final decision to build the plant. Speculation about the project’s future increased after EDF chief financial officer Thomas Piquemal resigned last week.

But a statement released by Decc this weekend listed five reasons why the government was supporting Hinkley Point C.

“Hinkley will be a significant step forward in our transition to a low carbon future, a milestone in our efforts to reduce emissions and to meet our climate change commitments in the most cost-effective way,” said the statement.

“Hinkley will power close to 6M homes, twice as many as the whole of London, for nearly 60 years, providing 7% of UK electricity,” it added.

EDF chairman Jean-Bernard Levy said last week: “With the support of its shareholder, the state, EDF can confirm that it is looking to invest in two reactors at Hinkley Point under the best possible financial conditions for the group, with the objective of making a final investment decision in the near future.”

Civil Engineering Contractors Association chief executive Alasdair Reisner earlier this year described the wait for the decision to build the Somerset nuclear plant as “extremely disappointing”.

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