Hinkley Point C mock-up. Courtesy EDF. French state-controlled utility EDF has raised its estimate of the cost of completing the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station under construction in Somerset, southwest England.

EDF said in a statement that it had performed a review of the project’s progress and completion costs are now expected to be between £21.5bn (€24.3bn, $26.7bn) and £22.5bn, which means an increase of £1.9bn to £2.9bn compared to previous estimates.

“Cost increases reflect challenging ground conditions which made earthworks more expensive than anticipated, revised action plan targets and extra costs needed to implement the completed functional design, which has been adapted for a first-of-a-kind application in the UK context”, EDF said.

EDF Energy, the UK arm of EDF, is building two 1,600-MW EPR units at Hinkley Point C. Preparatory work onsite has been underway since a final agreement on the project was signed in September 2016 by EDF, China’s CGN and the UK government.

The initial cost of the project had been put at £16bn, but was revised to £18bn in 2015, reflecting the impact of inflation.

In July 2017, after it had carried out a planned assessment of the project, EDF said Hinkley Point C was running over budget and more than a year behind schedule.

The French company said at the time that the project’s total cost could climb £1.5bn to £19.6bn because of “a better understanding” of the construction work needed and UK regulatory requirements.

Under a contract for difference agreement, the UK government has guaranteed to EDF an index linked price for power produced by Hinkley Point C of £92.50 (2012 prices) per MWh over 35 years.

EDF said today that under the terms of this agreement there would not be any impact for UK consumers or taxpayers from the estimated project cost hike.

Hinkley Point C is expected to provide 7% of Britain’s electricity needs when fully operational.

EDF said Unit 1 is still expected to begin power generation in 2025. In June 2019, construction was completed of the reactor base for the unit.

Date: Thursday, 26 September 2019
Original article: nucnet.org/news/edf-increases-final-cost-estimates-by-up-to-gbp2-9bn-9-3-2019