EDF said on 19 May that a review of the schedule and cost for the two Hinkley Point C reactors had been finalised resulting in more delays and increased costs. The review took into account the main aspects of the project, EDF noted. However, the schedule and cost of electromechanical works and of final testing had not been reviewed.
The review concluded that the start of electricity generation for unit 1 is now targeted for June 2027, while the risk of further delay of the two units is assessed at 15 months, “assuming the absence of a new pandemic wave and no additional effects of the war in Ukraine”. Since the beginning of construction, the project has been delayed by 18 months in total, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project completion costs are now estimated at GBP25-26 billion ($31.2-32.5bn). EDF said that, under the terms of the Contract for Difference, there would be no impact for UK consumers.
This represents an overall cost increase of some GBP3bn. In January 2021, EDF rescheduled start of electricity generation from unit to June 2026, compared with the original estimate of 2025 announced in 2016. EDF also at that time increased the expected cost of the project by GBP500 million to GBP22-23 billion.
“During more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, the project continued without stopping. This protected the integrity of the supply chain and allowed the completion of major milestones,” EDF noted. “However, people, resources and supply chain have been severely constrained and their efficiency has been restricted. In addition, the quantities of materials and engineering as well as the cost of such activities, including, in particular marine works have risen.”
EDF said the next major milestone, the lifting of the dome on unit 1, is forecast for the second quarter of 2023.
Image: Hinnkley Point C's unit 2 ring 1 being lifted into place (courtesy of EDF Energy)