The new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station’s Unit 1 planned opening has been delayed by around six months and the cost of the project is expected to rise again, the energy firm behind the plant revealed. EDF said significant progress has been made on the site in Somerset but the start of electricity generation is now expected in June 2026, compared with previous estimates of an opening date at the end of 2025. The cost for the project is now estimated at between £22 billion and £23 billion, compared with projected costs of £21.5 billion and £22.5 billion announced in 2019. The coronavirus crisis led to a number of changes on the Hinkley site, including reducing the number of workers to enable social distancing, and concentrating on the most critical areas of construction.
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The start of electricity generation at Hinkley Point C in Somerset has been pushed back six months to June 2026, it was announced today. The project is now estimated to cost between £22bn and £23bn, more than previous estimates of £21.5bn – £22.2bn. French giant EDF, which is building the new nuclear power plant, said that the delay was due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on construction.
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The forecast rate of return (IRR) for EDF is therefore re-estimated between 7.1% and 7.2%, against between 7.6% and 7.8% previously. The risk of postponement of delivery (COD) of Units 1 and 2 is maintained at 15 and 9 months respectively. The realization of this risk would induce a potential additional cost of around 0.7 billion pounds sterling in 2015. Under this assumption, the IRR for EDF would be reduced by 0.3%. The management of the project is mobilized on the objective of the installation of the dome of Unit 1 at the end of 2022.
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The group, which is financing the construction of the plant along with its junior partner CGN of China, said it is expecting the project to cost up to £23bn compared with a previous estimate in 2019 of a maximum of £22.5bn. EDF quotes costs in 2015 prices in order to maintain consistency for the markets but the real bill is likely to be higher after accounting for inflation.
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EDF Press Release.
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