Hinkley Point C – the nuclear power station being built in Somerset – is set to be delayed and costs are likely to be £500 million more than previously thought, according to the energy giant behind it.

Hinkley Point C has been delayed by around six months but bosses said the site has made good progress this year (EDF/PA)

EDF said “significant progress” has been made on the site in Bridgwater, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but previous cost estimates of £21.5 billion to £22.5 billion have been revised up.

The cost is now expected to be in the range of £22 billion to £23 billion and the start of electricity generation from Unit 1 is now expected in June 2026, compared with an initially slated opening at the end of 2025.

Before the previous costings of £21.5 billion and £22.5 billion, the estimated price of the project had been £20.3 billion. Original estimates had been £18 billion.

Once completed, it will generate electricity for around six million, or 7%, of the country’s homes.

EDF said the delay and increased costs mean the expected rate of return from its investment will fall from between 7.6% and 7.8% to between 7.1% and 7.2%.

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January 27, 2021 at 04:13AM