Hinkley Point
A sign for the Hinkley Point B nuclear power station near Bridgwater in Somerset. EDF is committed to constructing Hinkley Point C at the site despite concerns over its financial viability. Getty

The Hinkley Point C nuclear plant will go ahead, EDF Energy's chief executive told MPs on Wednesday (23 March 2016). Speaking to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee on the benefits of nuclear energy, Vincent de Rivaz stated that the controversial project, in which EDF has invested £2.4bn (€3bn, $3.4bn) so far, will "clearly and categorically" go ahead.

De Rivaz's statement came as surprise as French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that a final investment decision on the £18bn project, which was first announced in October 2013, would be made in May. The French government owns a majority stake in EDF, which is financing two-thirds of the project via its UK arm EDF Energy, and Macron suggested a decision might be delayed as the company has failed to secure financing and partners.

However, De Rivaz dismissed the concerns, insisting that the group, which has spent £55m a month on the project, expected to receive the green light soon after coming to the end of what he described as a "long road" to clear regulatory hurdles. "This project is absolutely critical and has the full support of the French government and the British government," he said. "Everything is aligning at the moment. It is very positive"

Once completed, Hinkley Point C would be the first nuclear station to be built on British soil for two decades.