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Hinkley Point project puts EDF at risk, says managers' union
January 19, 2016 / 8:56 PM / 2 years ago

Hinkley Point project puts EDF at risk, says managers' union

PARIS, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The sheer scale of EDF’s 18 billion pound ($25.55 bln) project to build two nuclear reactors in Hinkley Point, Britain puts the French utility at risk, the CFE-CGC managers union warned on Tuesday.

The moderate union questioned the interest in building two next-generation reactors over nine years while two other EPR reactors under construction in Finland and western France have been plagued with problems and delays.

It urged EDF to say what assets would have to be sold to finance the British project and what the potential impact of going ahead with it may be on its credit rating.

In October, EDF, 85 percent-owned by the French state, announced a partnership with Chinese utility CGN to build Hinkley Point, but the two companies have not yet made the final investment decision to go ahead.

EDF reluctantly agreed to finance the project on its already stretched balance sheet after other partners pulled out, and ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has warned it might downgrade EDF if it goes ahead.

EDF’s board is due to take a decision on whether to go ahead with the investment on Jan. 27, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

A spokesman for the group declined to comment.

In November, an association of employee-shareholders warned that the project was so expensive and risky as to put the group’s survival at risk. ($1 = 0.7046 pounds) (Reporting by Benjamin Mallet; writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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