Hinkley's construction to begin 'within weeks'

Construction work on Somerset's Hinkley Point is to begin "within weeks" after a multi-billion pound deal between French energy giant EDF and China's CGN was unveiled

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Hinkley's construction to begin 'in weeks'

Hinkley, which is already years behind schedule, has been given a revised start date of 2025 Credit: ITV News

Construction work on Somerset's Hinkley Point is to begin "within weeks" after a multi-billion pound deal between French energy giant EDF and China's CGN was unveiled this afternoon.

The agreement, reached after months of talks, priced the power plant at £18 billion - which was £6 billion less than expected.

Hinkley, which is already years behind schedule, has been given a revised start date of 2025. Initially it was planned to open in 2017.

Chairman of EDF, Jean Bernard Levy, called the signing "a big step forward" for the group's partnership with the Chinese.

"We are planning for a final investment decision within weeks so that we can move forward with construction."

– JEAN BERNARD LEVY, CHAIRMAN OF EDF

£18 billion deal confirms Hinkley will go ahead

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

EDF have signed an agreement with a Chinese firm which paves the way for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

The agreement, reached after months of talks, gives China's leading state-owned nuclear supplier a 33.5 per cent stake in the £18bn Hinkley Point project, in Somerset.

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EDF set to confirm Chinese investment in Hinkley nuclear plant

EDF is set to confirm Chinese investment in the multi-billion-pound scheme. Credit: EDF

Plans for the UK's first nuclear power plant in a generation at Hinkley Point in Somerset are set to be given a boost today.

French energy giant EDF will confirm Chinese investment in the multi-billion-pound scheme.

An announcement will be made on the second full day of a visit to the UK by Chinese president Xi Jinping. He's due to attend a meeting with the Prime Minister at which the nuclear project will be discussed.

Anti-nuclear protestors have recently set up camp at the site.

Osborne says China partnership will benefit British people

Britain's first nuclear power station for twenty years has moved a step closer to being built in Somerset.

The Chancellor George Osborne has announced fresh investment totalling more than £24 billion during a 5 day tour of China where he is hoping to secure further funding for Britain's nuclear industry.

The plant could provide 25,000 jobs.

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County Council welcomes £2 billion support for Hinkley

The Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, David Hall has welcomed today’s announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, saying it is very positive news for the county and the country.

The Chancellor insisted new nuclear power stations are essential to make sure the lights stay on as he gave the green light to the initial government guarantee for the first such plant in Britain for 20 years.

The new government guarantee, provided by Infrastructure UK is set to be worth around £2 billion and will pave the way for a final investment decision by energy company EDF Energy.

We warmly welcome today’s announcement from the Chancellor. This is yet another major milestone for the Hinkley Point C project, which will bring significant benefits to Somerset’s economy, communities and infrastructure.

Today’s news marks another important step forward and we remain confident Hinkley Point C will go ahead and now await the final investment decision.

The construction and operation of the plant will bring millions of pounds-worth of investment in our infrastructure and our communities will be set to benefit hugely from the creation of thousands of jobs in Somerset.

We will continue to work closely with our district council colleagues, EDF Energy, local communities, and Central Government to play our part in paving the way for this historic development.

– David Hall, Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council

Green MEP attacks Hinkley announcement

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West Credit: PA: Lynne Cameron

The Green MEP for the South West has criticised the government announcement to guarantee £2 billion to underwrite the proposed nuclear electricity generation plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, which is due to be built partly with Chinese money.

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, whose constituency Hinkley would be built in and long term critic of Hinkley says it is astonishing the government is "begging for Chinese money".

Wheeling out the Tory spin machine shows the government’s desperation. This is not new money at all. Numerous deadlines for signing this flawed deal have now been missed with French companies facing technological delays and Chinese companies facing financial difficulties.

It is astonishing that the government will go begging the Chinese for money in the middle of a stock market crisis while neglecting our incredible renewable resources in the South West. The Navitus off-shore wind development in Dorset alone would have secured enough energy to power 700,000 homes. There is clearly an ideological pro nuclear, anti-renewables obsession at the heart of government. While this government sees fit to subsidise foreign companies to support an old industry it is deliberately destroying UK companies and undermining investment opportunities for small-scale investors building the energy of the future.

The Tories are snubbing British citizens who have shown their willingness to invest in community renewables and support the clean, green energy of the future with which our country, and particularly the South West, is so richly endowed.

– Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West
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