EDF says it’s still close to releasing £18bn budget despite reports decision could be “several months” away

EDF's Hinkley Point C

EDF is still telling potential suppliers on Hinkley Point C to restart spending despite reports that a final investment decision could be “several months” away.

Reports from Reuters and the Financial Times both suggested a decision on the £18bn nuclear power plant has again been postponed by the EDF board.

The FT reported it could take “several months” before the finance is sorted for the project.

But a source close to Hinkley told Building: “Nothing has changed from EDF, the same message is still coming out.”

The source also told Building they understood the final investment decision “didn’t go to the board” today and that “some advisory work was done instead about private financing”.

EDF instructed its suppliers to restart “unconstrained spending” on the scheme last month.

At the time, sources close to the process told Building: “EDF used the words ‘unconstrained spending’ to the supply chain to get the project moving. By ‘unconstrained’ they mean ‘we’re going to go on as if a decision has been made.’”

A final investment decision was previously expected to be made in January at EDF’s monthly board meeting, but was reportedly taken off after last minute concerns from some of the project’s most important backers.

Reuters also said a new internal report by the former head of French state nuclear agency CEA, Yannick d’Escatha, has raised doubts about whether Hinkley can be built on schedule.

It added that the project’s £18bn (23.21 billion euros) cost is bigger than EDF’s 22.5 billion euro market value.