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Hinkley Point nuclear plant ‘threatened by Areva financial crisis’ via The Telegraph

Reactor-maker Areva’s stake in new UK nuclear plant called into question amid financial difficulties

Plans for Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation could be threatened by a financial crisis at the company supplying the reactor, experts claimed last night.

The £25bn Hinkley Point project in Somerset is due to be built by a consortium led by French energy giant EDF Energy, with fellow French state-owned business Areva due to provide its EPR reactor technology and take a 10pc stake in the project.

But Areva on Wednesday issued its third profits warning in four months, sending its shares down 16pc and leading to speculation it would be forced to undergo a radical restructuring.

Steve Thomas, professor of energy policy at Greenwich University, claimed the company’s participation in Hinkley would be in doubt as a result. He told TheTimes: “Areva’s never going to be able to take 10pc”.

Areva’s financial woes have been caused in part by delays in buildings its EPR reactors at Olkiluoto in Finland and at EDF’s Flamanville project in France.

[…]

Saudi Electric, the Gulf’s largest utility, has been named as one of the parties interested in the 15pc stake, but talks with the Chinese partners are said to have run into difficulties over demands for Chinese companies to take a higher proportion of the supply chain work.

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron insisted there was “no anxiety about Areva’s industrial activities”. “Areva is here to stay and is a priority for us,” he said.

EDF declined to comment.

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