EDF Energy has refused to be drawn on reports that Hinkley Point C could be affected by financial setbacks hitting one of its investors.

French firm Areva, which is designing the reactor, is due to have a 10% stake in the nuclear plant, which EDF confirmed was still the case despite reports that the firm is struggling.

The group this week issued a profits warning and has suspended financial forecasts.

Doubts have been raised that Areva will find the funds to take its 10% stake in the project.

Two Chinese groups have already agreed to take between 30 and 40% and EDF will have a stake of between 45 and 50%.

EDF has also been looking for outside investors to stump up and support the £25billion venture and rumours have circulated that stateowned Saudi Arabian firm Saudi Electric could join in.

Stop Hinkley campaigners have accused the firm of “having more partners than Elizabeth Taylor” and said they are shocked that Saudi Arabia might be about to bankroll the project.

There have been widespread reports that over-excessive demands from the Chinese partners have caused setbacks for Hinkley which prompted new talks with Saudi Electric.

When contacted by the Mercury, EDF spokesman Gordon Bell would not be drawn on whether Areva’s financial position would threaten the future of Hinkley C – a claim which has been made in national newspapers.

He also would not comment on whether Saudi Electric might have a stake in the project, saying only that there was still a 15% share open to other investors.

Mr Bell did say that the full line-up of investors – which will be outlined in the final investment decision (FID) – will be made public “at the turn of the year”.

This week the French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said it was too early to decide on options for state-owned nuclear group Areva, but said the firm’s viability was not under threat.

He said: “We are monitoring the numbers closely but there is no anxiety about Areva’s industrial activities. Areva is here to stay and is a priority for us."