Thursday 17 March 2016 12:51 pm

EDF Energy to be grilled by MPs over Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant

EDF Energy will be grilled by a group of MPs next week over the controversial Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset.

EDF's chief executive Vincent de Rivaz, and managing director of new nuclear build Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, will appear before the energy and climate change select committee on Wednesday.

It comes as French economy minister Emmanuel Macron pledged fresh financing for the £18bn project during a visit to a nuclear power plant there today.

EDF has been forced to defend Hinkley after its chief financial officer Thomas Piquemal resigned over the huge costs. It subsequently sent a letter to employees reiterating confidence that the project will go ahead.

"The hearing will give EDF Energy an opportunity to answer the committee’s questions on the investment plans for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset," it said in a statement today.

Angus MacNeil, committee chair, said: "The government is counting on new nuclear to supply a significant proportion of the UK’s demand for low-carbon baseload power in future."

"The focus right now is on Hinkley Point C but there are other important projects in the pipeline. Serious questions are being raised about the cost and viability of the Hinkley project and the value for money for taxpayers."

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.