The cost of building a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset could rise by nearly £2 billion, piling more pressure on the over-stretched finances of the French energy giant EDF, according to a report seen by The Times. An independent analysis of the £18 billion project claims that Areva, the French company that developed the EPR reactor earmarked for Hinkley, is repricing the technology before a final investment decision, which it expects to be signed by EDF and its Chinese partners in May. Michel Degryck, managing partner of the Paris-based corporate finance company Capitalmind and an expert on EDF who produced the report, said that Areva had in recent weeks been asking suppliers to resubmit detailed offers for key components of the Hinkley station. Mr Degryck said: “We understand that a number of costs were probably underesti mated when they did their last pricing [of the reactor] in 2013. They will have to take into account new costs . . . The cost of the project could rise by 10 per cent.” The updated price of the station could be as high as 25.3 billion euros (£19.8 billion), according to the research. The development casts further doubt on the future of the project, under which two new reactors to be built at Hinkley are set to generate 7 per cent of UK electricity once operational, probably in the late 2020s.