Final bill rises by at least £8bn with job now expected to complete three years later than planned

The scheme to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset will cost billions more to build and take several years longer than planned, the firm behind it said in an update today.

In 2022, the cost of the UK’s first new nuclear plant since the 1990s was estimated at £26bn at 2015 values, with a target date for completion of June 2027.

EDF now estimates that the cost will be between £31bn and £34bn in 2015 values but taking into account the impact of inflation this figure is expected to be closer to £46bn.

hinkley 2

Source: EDF

Thousands of workers are on the Somerset site with more expected in the coming months

Work is now set to be completed between 2029 and 2031 under various scenarios drawn up by EDF.

Details of the cost rises and delays have been revealed in a letter sent to staff this afternoon by the scheme’s managing director Stuart Crooks.

He said the project, which already has over 10,000 workers on the scheme, needed more operatives and was planning a fourfold increase in M&E workers alone in the coming year.

Crooks said substantial design changes, required by British regulations, meant there were 7,000 changes that needed to be made to the site, with 35% more steel and 25% more concrete needed than originally planned.

He added the scheme had also been hit by inflation and labour shortages. “We have found civil construction slower than we hoped and faced inflation, labour and material shortages on top of covid and Brexit disruption.”

Crooks said that project was “well past the halfway mark” and “many risks are now behind us”.

He said the extra cost of the scheme, the UK’s nuclear power station since Sizewell B completed in 1995, would be footed by EDF.

When the project was finally given the green light in 2016, its cost was estimated at £18bn.