400 jobs cut at EDF’s Hinkley nuclear power station project
French power giant EDF has cut 400 contractors' jobs at the £16bn Hinkley Point C power station.
In a statement, the company said because negotiations with potential investment partners have been delayed, it was not prepared to keep investing in the project – although it will continue to make preparations for the next phase of the power station.
The next phase of work on site and in the associated developments will require a substantial increase in spending levels, and will begin as soon as the final investment decision has been made.In the meantime work to ensure the project's readiness will continue, including project planning, engineering design and commercial supply chain activities.
The decision comes as the UK's energy security comes under significant strain. The National Grid has previously warned that energy providers are under pressure, thanks to outdated infrastructure.
The Hinkley Point project, which is expected to contribute 13 per cent of the UK's electricity once it's completed, has already been beset by delays: in October Austria threatened to sue the European Commission after it gave the project the stamp of approval, on the ground subsidies such as those awarded to Hinkley were for alternative sources of energy, rather than nuclear.
In November it was reported that Saudi Arabian utility firm Saudi Electric was in talks to become one of the project's investors.