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French cuts could delay new nuclear power plants in Britain -MOS

By TOM MCGHIE,

MAIL ON SUNDAY SENIOR FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT

PUBLISHED: 14:43, 23 December 2012

Britain’s multi-billion pound nuclear building programme could face long delays because of cutbacks at EDF Energy’s parent company in France.

For more than a year, EDF has said that it plans to spend £14 billion on two reactors at a new plant at Hinkley Point, Somerset.

But the company has still not confirmed it will go ahead with the work and it now has revised the decision to ‘the earliest possible date’.

Confirmation is not expected until March at the earliest, if at all. Delays had been caused by issues negotiating agreement with the British Government over price guarantees. But now the parent company, which is state-owned, is under pressure from the French government to cut costs.

Details will be made known when the group releases its full-year earnings in February.

EDF chief financial officer Thomas Piquemal said the firm would prioritise French investment in the year ahead, raising the possibility of a delay in its nuclear projects in Britain.

He said: ‘It’s still too early to decide on the British plans, as all the conditions for the investment aren’t met.

A Government spokesman said: ‘The final decision is a matter for the company and the Government is happy to work to its timetable.’

Meanwhile, EDF’s partner on the programme, Centrica, which owns British Gas, is unlikely to go ahead with any investment.

EDF is still in talks with Chinese nuclear firms to take part in its programme.

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2252483/French-cuts-delay-new-nuclear-power-plants-Britain.html#ixzz2FwcYZVsL

 

December 24, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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