There is no excuse for EDF Energy now delaying the final investment decision (FID) on the construction of the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, following the Anglo-French summit, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Friday 4 March).
Yesterday’s summit between prime minister David Cameron and President Francois Hollande reiterated that Hinkley Point C was a major strategic project and a pillar of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Unite national officer for energy Kevin Coyne said: “We welcome this announcement and the renewed commitment from both the UK and French governments. It is important that the uncertainty is removed and that the project is on course to go-ahead.
“Thousands of well-paid skilled jobs and hundreds of new apprenticeships in the West Country are the prize that this announcement heralds, giving ordinary people a stake in this project and many young people hope for the future in terms of employment.
“It is the green light to start unpacking the boots and shovels, and getting on with the job of securing the nation’s energy supply for the future.
“Unite calls on EDF to move rapidly to the FID and let’s crack on and get the job done. There is no excuse for any further delays.”
The inter-governmental communique from the summit said: “The signing of a framework agreement between EDF and China General Nuclear (CGN) on 21 October 2015 and the state aid approval by the European Commission of the methodology underpinning the waste transfer contract between EDF Energy and the British government represent significant milestones.
“Following an in-depth internal review, the project’s organisation has been fine-tuned to guarantee control of the main operational risks inherent to such a large project.
“EDF is currently devoted to prepare all necessary elements for the announcement of a FID for Hinkley Point C in the near future, with the full support of the French government.”
In January, EDF, the French energy giant 84 per cent owned by the French government, cancelled a crucial key board meeting that was expected to give the go-ahead for the FID for the £24.5bn power station in Somerset.
Last September, the British government’s pledged a £2bn underwriting of the Chinese investment in Hinkley Point – the first new UK nuclear power station in 20 years which is expected to deliver seven per cent of the UK’s electricity when it is due to start operating in 2025.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble in the Unite press office on 020 3371 2061 or 07768 693940.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.