Power stations boss quits over Â£18bn plan
The owner of Heysham Power Stations is reeling after its finance director quit ahead of a decision over its new Â£18bn power plant in Somerset.
Thomas Piquemal, a major critic of the expensive Hinkley Point scheme, stepped down as EDF Energy shares dropped by 8.2% on Monday.
The company, largely owned by the French government, is expected to finalise a finance plan for the new power station in April after postponing the decision a number of times.
Hinkley Point is backed by both David Cameron and the French President, Francois Hollande.
The station, which was originally due to open in 2017, is expected to provide 7% of the UK’s electricity.
Last October, EDF agreed a deal with China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) who will pay a third of the cost in exchange for a 33.5% stake but has yet to announce how it will fund the remaining 66.5% stake.
Xavier Girre has been provisionally appointed EDF finance chief in the wake of Mr Piquemal’s resignation.
Last month EDF Energy announced it would extend generation from four of its UK nuclear power stations.
Heysham 1 and Hartlepool, due to be decommissioned in 2019, will continue for an extra five years, and Heysham 2 and Torness in Scotland will extend by seven years to 2030.
An EDF spokesman said at the time: “Hinkley Point C is a strong project which is fully ready for a final investment decision and successful construction.
“Final steps are well in hand to enable the full construction phase to be launched very soon.”