Thursday 12 May 2016 7:02 am

EDF's fragmented board to discuss Hinkley later today

The controversial Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant station is expected to be divisive at the annual meeting of French utility giant EDF later today.

It was due to receive the final go-ahead today, but this was recently kicked back to September amid a tussle with unions over whether the company's strained balance sheet can stomach the £18bn project.

EDF said yesterday that it would make a final investment decision on Hinkley after the company has consulted its works council, but gave no date.

Read more: MPs want more answers on delay to EDF's final investment decision for Hinkley Point

It came as EDF reported sales fell 6.7 per cent in the first quarter due to heightened competition, record low power prices and a mild winter.

Earlier this week, the works council revealed it's ordering an external study to obtain missing information which will help it made a final recommendation, without saying when either will be completed.

Read more: EDF's Hinkley could be threatened by EU competition law

Hinkley, which will meet nearly seven per cent of the UK's electricity needs over a 60-year period, is at the heart of the government's energy plans.

Its start date has been pushed back eight years to 2025, as it's been plagued by numerous delays and setbacks.

A Conservative MP yesterday urged the government to ensure the UK's coal-fired power plants do not shutdown all at once, a situation which could lead to a devastating energy supply crunch.