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New Setback For UK Nuclear Power Plans As EDF Delays Investment Decision

Michael Stothard and Christopher Adams, Financial Times

Plans to build the first in a new generation of British nuclear reactors suffered a setback on Thursday when EDF disclosed than an investment decision on the £24.5bn project was “months” away, raising the prospect that it could slip beyond the general election in May.

The French energy group’s comments have dashed lingering hopes that an agreement on equity stakes in the Hinkley Point plant, in southwest England, might be reached by an end of March deadline.

During a conference call following the group’s full-year results, new chief executive Jean-Bernard Lévy said this year was the new timeframe: “We are in the final phase of negotiations, but that phase can take a considerable amount of time.”

EDF Energy, the group’s UK unit, said the company was “working hard” to finalise a deal on Hinkley Point C, due to come online by 2023, and aimed to agree documents — including details of the contract for difference (CFD), or price at which the power will be sold — in the coming weeks.

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