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EDF insists Hinkley C definitely 'will go ahead' in MP grilling

An impression of what the new reactor would look like. Credit: EDF

The delayed multi-billion pound Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset will go ahead, according to the head of French energy giant EDF.

Assuring MPs today, the chief executive of the firm behind the project said he had confidence in the £18 billion project.

Vincent de Rivaz pictured with David Cameron Credit: PA

Although admitting it had been "a long road", Vincent de Rivaz told the Energy and Climate Change Committee "clearly and categorically" that Hinkley Point C will be built.

French economy minister Emmanuel Macron has said EDF would make a final investment decision on Hinkley Point in early May.

It would be the first nuclear power plant to be built in Britain in two decades.

EDF is financing two-thirds of the project, with the rest coming from Chinese investment.

EDF Boss faces grilling by MPs over Hinkley Point

An artist's impression of the how the new Hinkley Point C station will look Credit: PA

The Chief executive of EDF energy will be questioned by MPs this morning over the future of Hinkley Point in Somerset.

It follows reports that the decision on the planned nuclear station is being put off until May because of financial and technical problems. The government insists the £18 billion project will go ahead.

Earlier in the month, the chief financial officer of EDF resigned claiming that the project could threaten the company's financial position.

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EDF Chairman confident Hinkley Point C will go ahead

Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

The chairman of EDF says he's confident a new reactor will be built at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Jean-Bernard Levy, chairman and chief executive of EDF Group, wrote to staff on Friday saying, although the financial context was "challenging", the project had the support of both the French and British governments.

We are currently negotiating with the French state to obtain commitments allowing us to secure our financial position. It is clear that I will not engage EDF in this project before these conditions are met. These discussions are ongoing and I am defending our group for the present and especially the future.

– Jean-Bernard Levy, chairman and chief executive of EDF Group

A video produced by EDF energy showing a CGI fly-through over the new Hinkley Point nuclear station.

It follows speculation about the future of the eighteen billion pound nuclear project after the French company's finance director, Thomas Piquemal resigned. He was concerned that the cost of the scheme could jeopardise EDF's future.

Credit: EDF Energy/PA Wire

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the the South West of England described Hinkley as "a disastrous white elephant" and called for it to "give way" to the alternative of renewable energy.

EDF insist they are investing under the 'best possible financial conditions'

EDF have insisted they are investing in Hinkley Point "under the best possible financial conditions".

The statement follows the resignation of the company's finance director Thomas Piquemal, who reportedly quit because of concerns that a final decision about investment for the new reactor will be made too soon - potentially threatening the energy company's financial position.

Thomas Piquemal told me of his resignation last week, which was made public last night. I regret the haste of his departure, and I immediately appointed Xavier Girre to the position of CFO on a provisional basis.

With the support of its shareholder, the state, EDF can confirm that it is looking to invest in two reactors at Hinkley Point under the best possible financial conditions for the Group, with the objective of making a final investment decision in the near future.

– Jean-Bernard Levy, EDF Group CEO and Chairman

UK government 'fully supports' Hinkley Point project

The Hinkley Point C power plant project is projected to cost £18bn Credit: Justin Tallis/PA

The British government "continues to fully support the Hinkley Point C nuclear project", according to the Prime Minister's spokeswoman.

There are doubts about the future of the project after the chief financial officer at EDF, which is a partner with Chinese Group CGN in financing the plan, resigned ahead of a final decision on its investment.

The company said Thomas Piquemal will be replaced by Xavier Girre, who joined EDF last year as chief finance officer for France.

Thomas Piquemal Credit: EDF

Alarm bells should be ringing deafeningly loudly in the offices of the French and UK governments this morning.

The Chief Finance Officer's decision to quit over EDF's apparent commitment to push ahead with the controversial Hinkley nuclear power deal should be of huge concern.

If the finance chief thinks the project will be a disaster, the optimism from both governments that the deal will be imminent is irrational.

The UK Government urgently needs a 21st century plan to boost our home-grown renewable energy which is being sidelined because the Government is focusing on this nuclear white elephant.

– John Sauven, director of Greenpeace
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