EDF seeks to activate contingency clause for Hinkley Level C contract

Vitality big EDF is seeking to activate a contingency choice in its contract with the federal government, which might enable it to doubtlessly keep away from penalties associated to delays to the Hinkley Level C nuclear energy station mission on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The agency has notified the government-owned Low Carbon Contracts Firm (LCCC) over a “power majeure” occasion, introduced on by Covid-19. The notification, which is known to be below dialogue with the federal government, implies that EDF could, if essential, be capable of keep away from penalties if Hinkley would not ship electrical energy to the nationwide grid on a pre-agreed date.

EDF has insisted, nevertheless, that the present goal date of 1 June 2027 for supply of electrical energy from reactor one at Hinkley stays in place.

In accordance with the Monetary Instances, Hinkley Level C’s managing director, Stuart Crooks, has approached the LCCC, which administers vitality agreements on behalf of the federal government, to activate the contingency and notify the physique of the occasion – one thing it’s contractually obliged to do.

The contract between LCCC and Hinkley contains undisclosed penalties associated to the supply date of the reactor. The precise value of these penalties has not been made public and is taken into account commercially delicate.

Nevertheless, Crooks reportedly stated that Covid-19 had “added a yr” to the development schedule and ought to be thought-about a “power majeure”. In contractual phrases, this usually refers to an occasion that’s past the management of the events below settlement.

The financing mannequin used to pay for the event of Hinkley Level C is named a Contract for Distinction (CfD).  The developer funds the price of constructing the nuclear energy station in return for an agreed-upon fastened value for the electrical energy generated when the plant is operational.

The shoppers find yourself paying the distinction between the wholesale value of electrical energy and the fastened value, and fund the mission as soon as it’s within the operational section. The subsidy take care of the federal government ensures EDF a value of £92.50 for each megawatt hour of electrical energy it produces, for the primary 35 years of the reactor’s life. This value is subsidised by the federal government.

EDF introduced in Might that the mission prices had elevated by £3bn. This was attributed partially to the lack of 500,000 particular person workdays solely in civil development. Moreover, 180 suppliers have been shut till earlier this yr, with 60 of these nonetheless working at lowered capability.


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