EDF has delayed its final investment decision on the building of a new £18bn power plant at Hinkley Point until September, four months after it was due to give its verdict on the project.
France's economy minister Emmanuel Macron told French newspaper Journal du Dimanche that three conditions had to be in place before the part state-owned energy company could go-ahead with the building of two new reactors at the Somerset site.
Macron said it would first need to ensure EDF's financial trajectory – which he said it did on Friday with the announcement of €4bn capital raising. It will also need to consult with the unions and also take certain operational measures to make sure the project is carried out according to plan.
However he also said "Britain could not wait otherwise it would turn instead to EDF's competitors" to carry out the project.
“The President has confirmed France's commitment. A final investment decision could be confirmed next September,” he added. Macron's comments come after he previously said that a decision would be taken May.
The Hinkley project was first announced in October 2013 but has stalled as EDF has sought to find partners and financing. Last year, the company secured a deal with China's General Nuclear Power Corporation, which will pay a third of the cost in return for a 33.5 per cent stake.