Sizewell C set for step forward – next consultation could be this year

Sizewell C

Sizewell C - Credit: Copyright EDF Energy 2012 - Stag

Proposals to build a new £16billion nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast will move a step closer next week.

EDF Energy has today called a meeting of its board of directors to decide the long-awaited final investment decision (FID) for the construction of the twin reactor Hinkley Point C (HPC) project in Somerset.

That will trigger the next stage of preparations for Sizewell C, with the stage two consultation on the project expected to start within a few months.

Residents and community leaders have been increasingly frustrated by the lack of fresh information on key issues – including construction workers' accommodation and park and ride sites – with some doubting the project will ever go ahead.

EDF though has insisted that its plans are on track, despite considerable delays.

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The board meeting will take place on July 28 with the aim to start the main work on HPC by mid-2019.

A statement said: 'HPC is a unique asset for French industry as it would benefit the whole of the nuclear industry and support employment in major companies and smaller enterprises in the sector.

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'This project has been the subject since 2013 of a significant sharing of information with employees and their representatives, illustrating the commitment of the company to quality social dialogue.'

The French company announced in April that its works council would be consulted on the terms of the partnership with the Chinese Group CGN for the multi billion pound delayed project.

Hinkley Point C is a crucial part of the UK's future energy mix, providing 7% of the country's total electricity needs when up and running.

French unions raised concerns about the cost of building the power station but raised no final objections, while UK unions have offered strong support for the project.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: 'It's clear that we are open for business as we come closer to sealing the deal on this major investment in British infrastructure and British jobs.

'New nuclear is an essential part of our plan for a secure, clean and affordable energy system that will power the economy throughout this century. This is a welcome decision from EDF, and we look forward to the outcome.'

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