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French Government provides Hinkley Point boost

Tuesday 22nd March, 2016

Funding for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has moved a step closer with the French Government, which has a stake in developer EDF, offering its support.

On a visit to a plant in in Civaux in France, French economy minister Emmanuel Macron is understood to have said the government is prepared to recapitalise EDF and waive dividends to ensure the project goes ahead.

The French Government holds about an 85 per cent stake in EDF.

It follows speculation in recent weeks that the company is struggling to fund the £18bn project.

EDF Energy will address the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee on 23 March 2016 in its session entitled “UK New Nuclear Status Update”. It will answer question on the investment plans for the Somerset nuclear power station.

EDF chairman and chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy wrote to staff last week to emphasise the power station had the backing of both the French and British governments.

“We are currently negotiating with the French state to obtain commitments allowing us to secure our financial position,” he said.

“It is clear that I will not engage EDF in this project before these conditions are met. These discussions are ongoing and I am defending our group for the present and especially the future.”

EDF Energy and China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) signed a strategic investment agreement in October for the construction and operation of Hinkley Point C. This partnership was recently approved by the European Commission.

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