The head of EDF knew the British government would push back its final decision on the controversial Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.
EDF has previously said it understood why Whitehall needed a "little time" to consider the project.
Directors told the Financial Times that a letter, which was sent ahead of the company's board meeting by chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy, suggests he knew about the delay.
"Late on Wednesday evening, the 27th, we learned that the British prime minister was asking for a little more time, without putting in question the interest of the project, without saying what date the signature could take place, and that she would not communicate on the topic," it said.
"We therefore cancelled preparations for Friday’s ceremony in Somerset and the Chinese minister did not, in the end, take the plane for his imminent trip to Great Britain."
“At the moment of the board’s vote on Thursday 28th afternoon, we thus knew that the ceremony wouldn’t be on the next day.”