Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant: France seeks guarantees from UK

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According to the source, "The French government is lobbying British ministers to provide loan guarantees for Hinkley Point C in an attempt to ease EDF's costs of financing the UK's new flagship nuclear power station, the price of which has risen sharply."

France's Economy Ministry did not confirm the request for the guarantee, saying only that "the government regularly discusses the UK's nuclear program and EDF's projects with its British counterparts."

"We intend to jointly find the best solutions to finance these projects," it added.

Among the options being considered are "finding new financial partners for EDF and a British government debt guarantee," a source close to the matter told AFP.

A loan guarantee from London would make it easier for French state-owned EDF to obtain loans to finance two British nuclear power plants in which it is a major shareholder.

However, the British government says it has "no role in the financing or operation of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant".

"The financing of the project is a matter for EDF and its shareholders," an energy ministry spokesman in London told AFP.

EDF announced last week that commissioning of the first reactor has been pushed back to 2029 at best, four years later than the original 2025 date, or even 2030 or 2031 depending on the scenario.

Extending the project would increase the total cost to £31-34 billion, up from £18 billion at the start of the project in 2016, all expressed in 2015 dollars.

This is an additional cost that state-owned group EDF is now bearing alone, without any contribution from its Chinese partner CGN, which still holds a 30 percent stake in the project.

In 2023, CGN stopped contributing to the additional costs of the nuclear power plant beyond its original commitments, as allowed by a contract clause.

EDF says it has "always wanted to involve other financial partners in this project" and that it is "continuing this search."

Jonathan Rowe

Jonathan Rowe

The creator and main author of the site is Jonathan Rowe. Trader and investor with many years of experience. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with over a decade of experience developing applications for financial and investment institutions.

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