EDF has once more revised the schedule and budget for commissioning Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset, UK. Electricity generation from unit 1 is now scheduled to start in June 2026, compared to the previous expectation of 2025. These delays will also increase the cost of the project by £500 million to £23 billion.
The recent analysis concluded that project costs are in the range £22-23 billion, changing the projected rate of return for EDF from 7.6-7.8 per cent to 7.1-7.2 per cent. EDF said that the forecast assumed “the ability to begin a ramp up back to normal site conditions from the second quarter of 2021.” It added that the project is focused on the objective of being able to lift the dome of unit 1 by the end of 2022.
Stuart Crooks, Managing Director of Hinkley Point C, said: “During the pandemic, we’ve monitored our schedule very carefully. At the start of the crisis, we postponed some of our work to create space and keep people safe onsite. The aim was to bring in additional resources to catch up that lost time but, 10 months on, it's clear that the pandemic is still in full force. Reducing people onsite has eaten away at the opportunity to recover that lost time from 2020. So far, we estimate that we've lost around three months of schedule time and we estimate that we could lose another three months in 2021, assuming that the conditions allow us to ramp back up the resources following Easter. Of course, with scheduling increases come increased costs, but this is the first time we've adjusted our schedule since the project commenced construction in 2016."