A few weeks ago Thomas Piquemal, the finance director of EDF (Électricité de France), resigned over the company’s plans to build a 3,200MW nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, next to two existing plants. This week, a union representative on the EDF board has said that he will vote against the plans to build the reactor, while in an internal document leaked to the Financial Times, some of the company’s engineers have expressed concerns about the technology involved. So far, EDF still officially backs the project – last month, EDF CEO Vincent de Rivaz told a House of Commons committee that it will “clearly and categorically… go ahead”. Despite the lavish subsidies, there have been fears this deal could blow up in EDF’s face. “There are other calls on its capital and resources, not least France’s nuclear power stations, which require an expensive upgrade,” says Nils Pratley in The Guardian. EDF already has high debts and S&P has warned if the project goes ahead it may downgrade its bonds, currently rated A+. EDF has been unable to convince partners other than the Chinese to fund the upfront costs – and these may be in jeopardy, as no written contract has been signed.
Money Week 3rd April 2016 read more »
George Kerevan: Why George Osborne is putting Chinese interests first and letting British steel die. WHY is the Tory government prepared to sacrifice the British steel industry in favour of protecting Chinese commercial interests? Why is a supposedly “patriotic” Conservative like Chancellor George Osborne willing to hand over the future of the British Steel.
The National 4th April 2016 read more »