Government announces surprise review despite EDF giving the project the green light

A final decision on Hinkley Point C has been scuppered yet again despite EDF giving the £18bn project the green light yesterday.

The government announced there would be a review to “consider carefully all the component parts of this project”, to report in “early autumn”.

Board members at EDF voted 10 to 7 in favour of approving funding for the project at a board meeting in Paris yesterday evening. Legally binding contracts had been expected to be signed today.

But shortly after EDF’s announcement, business and energy secretary Greg Clark announced a shock review of the project.

The government agreed a strike price of £92.50/Mwh with EDF in October 2013, though no legally-binding contract was signed.

Commenting on the government’s postponement, Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association said: “The most important thing is that the board of EDF and its investors have the finance in place to enable them to give the go ahead for the project and that is very good news.”

He added: “We now need the new ministers to quickly endorse the decision to show they are serious about industrial strategy, building new infrastructure by securing inward investment to create our low carbon energy supplies of the future.”

CECA head of external affairs Marie-Claude Hemming said: “EDF’s decision ends years of uncertainty for the UK’s nuclear supply chain, and will allow industry to move towards delivery of this vital project.

“Yet the Government’s decision to postpone its final decision on the project will create great uncertainty in the construction sector and the wider business sphere.”