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The continuing and ever more expensive saga of Britain’s Hinkley Point C nuclear project

Times 3rd Aug 2020, The first thing you notice as you approach Hinkley Point C is the sea of
cranes. There are dozens of them, jutting into the Somerset sky from the
site where EDF, of France, and CGN, the Chinese state nuclear group, are
building Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation. One stands
out: a 250 metre-tall yellow beast known as “Big Carl”. It is the
world’s largest crane and is central to the companies’ battle to
deliver the project successfully.
Given the go-ahead in 2016 at a cost of
£18 billion, the plant was slated to generate its first power before the
end of 2025. Four years on, the budget has risen to between £21.5 billion
and £22.5 billion and EDF says that there is a risk that first power may
be delayed until 2027, adding £700 million in costs; thanks to disruption
from Covid-19, that risk is now “high”.
Covid-19 clearly remains
another big risk, with EDF warning last week that productivity at the site
and in supply chain factories were still being affected. The company said
that it had done what it could to minimise delays, from bringing in extra
buses to transport workers to sending contractors to France to bring back
parts from a factory laid low by the pandemic. EDF believes that it can
catch up on Covid-19 delays by the end of next year, so long as operations
and its supply chain are back to normal by the end of 2020. How confident
was Mr Crooks that the plant would start up in 2025 as planned?
“There’s a long way to go yet. It is a big, complex project.”

August 4, 2020 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK

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