THE cost of completing work on Hinkley Point C is set to soar by up to a third, EDF has announced.

The original estimate of £25-26billion for nuclear energy project has now risen to £31-34billion in 2015 values.

And the previous plan for electricity production too start in June 2027 has now been put back, with the aim of bringing Unit 1 into service "around the end of the decade".

A review of the Hinkley Point C project has been finalised and has led to the following re-evaluation of the schedule and costs.

The aim of the project is to bring Unit 1 into service around the end of the decade.

Several scenarios have been analysed:

  • The first scenario around which the project is organised is targeting becoming operational in 2029. This schedule is based on a target productivity for the electromechanical work, which action plans are being
  • drawn up to achieve.
  • A second scenario (base case), which assumes certain risks inherent in the ramp-up of the electromechanical work and the testing schedule do materialise, would see Unit 1 operational in 2030.
  • Finally, given the complexity of the project, an unfavourable scenario assuming a further 12-month risk materialises could lead to Unit 1 being operational in 2031.

Referring to the hike in costs, an EDF spokesperson said: "The costs of completing the project are now estimated at between £31 billion and £34 billion in 2015 values.

"The cost of civil engineering and the longer duration of the electromechanical phase (and its impact on other work) are the two main reasons for this cost revision.

"If the risk of an additional delay of 12 months mentioned above in the final scenario does materialise it would result in an estimated additional cost of around £1 billion in 2015 values.

"The project continues to capitalise on the experience gained from construction of the four other EPRs around the world.

"HPC will be a major source of decarbonised electricity supply for the UK, providing around 7% of national consumption."

Recent milestones at Hinkley Point C include:

In December, dome lifted and installed on Unit 1;

Detailed design for next phase of electromechanical work finalised;

70% of equipment to be installed on Unit 1 delivered;

Steam generators built and ready for delivery;

Testing of UK instrumentation and control system is underway.