French utility giant EDF has reiterated its confidence that the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset will go ahead, despite mounting concern over whether it can afford its share of the £18bn project.
EDF's chairman and chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy was forced to defend Hinkley after the company's finance director Thomas Piquema resigned over fears about the whether EDF's already stretched balance sheet could absorb the huge costs.
In a letter to EDF staff, the company's chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy said the project needed to secure more funding from the French government, the BBC reports.
He said: "We are currently negotiating with the French state to obtain commitments allowing us to secure our financial position."
"I am sure that this project is a good project for the group and that in the near future, all the conditions will come together for it to be definitely launched."
"It is clear that I will not engage EDF in this project before these conditions are met."
It comes as the company prepares to take a widely anticipated final investment decision which was initially due in January.
Hinkley is the UK's first nuclear power plant in decades and the world's most expensive atomic energy project ever.
It's is due to start generating in 2025, and is expected to provide seven per cent of the UK's electricity once operational.