French Union Raises Hinkley Challenges

  • Date: 26/01/16
  • Kiran Stacey and Michael Stothard, Financial Times

A French union has published a set of last-minute challenges to EDF over its plans to build an £18bn nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, with just days to go before an expected final investment decision.

People close to the deal said they expected the decision about whether the project would go ahead to happen at a board meeting on Wednesday. EDF declined to comment.

The proposed plant is expected to supply 7 per cent of the UK’s electricity in 10 years’ time and the government sees it as essential for meeting targets for cuts in carbon emissions and to ensure energy security.

But the CFE-CGC energy union, which is represented on EDF’s board, has drawn up a list of 15 questions it says have yet to be answered.

The list includes an expression of serious concern about the plant’s viability and what it might cost the company, and is the latest sign of worries about a deal that has attracted criticism in the UK and France.

The document reveals that the Infrastructure UK arm of the government has attached a BB+ credit rating to the project — below investment grade — reflecting worries in Whitehall that it might not be completed.

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