The chief executive of French energy giant EDF is to be quizzed by MPs today over the delay in making a final investment decision on the multibillion-pound Hinkley Point nuclear power project.
Vincent de Rivaz will appear before the Energy and Climate Change Committee, alongside Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, EDF’s Managing Director, Nuclear New Build.
Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom will also be questioned by the committee, which said it will explore issues including the cause and impact of the delay to a final investment decision, financial and operational risks for the planned power station, and alternative plans for the UK’s energy future.
Mr de Rivaz told the committee in March that Hinkley Point would definitely go ahead, pointing to a speech by French economy minister Emmanuel Macron that the final investment decision would be made in early May.
But Mr Macron later said that the green light may not be given until September.
Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace’s Chief Scientist said: “It is no wonder that the EDF chief refused to be pinned down as to when the company would make the decision to invest in Hinkley.
“The company is up to its eyes in debt, with Moody’s threatening to downgrade EDF further if the Hinkley investment is made. The French cabinet are at loggerheads as President Hollande is being challenged by the Environment Minister over the colossal costs, and technically, it’s still not clear whether EDF can build Hinkley given the dire situation with the same reactor design in Finland and France – both projects are over budget and delayed by years.
“The UK Government urgently needs to wake up to the alternatives, seeing past the repeated empty promises that Hinkley will deliver power on time and on budget when all the evidence points to the contrary.”