EDF was this week gearing up to put preparatory works worth several million pounds on its nuclear site in Somerset out to tender

Building understands the French power supplier was preparing to release invitations to tender for early works at Hinkley Point, where it hopes to build the first in a new set of nuclear power stations. The contract is understood to cover small pieces of work such as road widening and moving hedgerows.

According to EDF’s procurement timetable, an earthworks package is also due to be tendered before the end of the year, but it is thought this is now likely to be pushed back to the first quarter of 2010. Sources said the slippage was unlikely to affect the construction timetable.

EDF said it could not confirm the timing of upcoming nuclear work as some aspects of the procurement process were being finalised.

Packages for the main civil works and tunnelling are expected in the first half of 2010.