Lack of financing drives EDF to postpone Hinkley Point nuclear project

French energy utility giant EDF is looking out for investors to finance its proposed $25.5bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset, UK.

The firm has been delaying its decision to move ahead with the construction of the power plant and is seeking help from the French Government for the project.

Areva had earlier agreed to own 10% stake, which has been scrapped since losses prompted the company to divest its nuclear unit to EDF.

The transaction is likely to be completed this year and will turn EDF to be the majority owner (66.5%) in the nuclear power project.

The remaining 33.5% stakes are being held by Chinese partner CGN.

According to the French newspaper Les Echos, the French giant is seeking help from the country’s government to find another state entity, which would be acquiring 10% stake initially allocated for Areva.

Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said: “The EDF board is clearly rattled as they delay yet again this crucial investment decision.

“EDF managers, as well as employee representatives on the board, are deeply concerned this project is too risky and too expensive.

“The UK government needs to join the 21st century and start backing the renewable technologies that are proven to work, are cheaper than nuclear power, create jobs in the UK and contribute to the fight against climate change.”

Expected to start commercial operations in 2025, the Hinkley Point C project will house two EPR reactors that can produce enough power to meet 7% of the country’s needs.