EDF has declared that the consultation with its trade unions over Hinkley Point C has now finished and they are ready to move to a final investment decision.
Following seven months of extensive consultation and information exchange, trade unions declined to give their opinion about the project at the EDF Company Works Council (CCE) meeting last Monday. This has been seen as a delaying tactic by the unions who have been asking for copies of all EDF’s contracts concerning the plant and a case on this will be heard in a Paris court on 22 September. However the full period of consultation legally required is now finalised and EDF considers that the CCE has given its opinion. French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron has said he expects the final investment decision to be made in September.
The outcome of the EU Referendum were also discussed at the meeting and EDF stated that it neither changes the fundamental features of the project nor the willingness of those involved. At the same time the company has reconfirmed its confidence in the project, which has now reached the stage for the Board’s final investment decision.
Commenting on the outcome of the meeting Tom Greatrex, the Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) that represents the UK’s civil nuclear industry, said: “The conclusion of a consultation exercise with EDF’s works council clears the way for a Final Investment Decision to be taken by the board of EDF. On Friday, General Secretaries of UK unions – Tim Roache of the GMB, Mike Clancy of Prospect, Len McCluskey from Unite and Brian Rye of UCATT – issued a joint statement underlining their support for Hinkley Point C, and the importance of new generation capacity for the UK to provide secure and low carbon power to homes and businesses.”
Speaking of behalf of the NIA’s more than 260 members Tom Greatrex added: “This is also an important project for the UK’s industry and supply chain, providing thousands of skilled jobs in construction, manufacturing and operating the plant. As the implications of the referendum result are considered, progress on this crucial infrastructure project will demonstrate the continuing importance of investment in the UK and new nuclear as part of a balanced, low carbon and secure energy mix for the future.”