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GMB reaction to EDF announcement

Friday, July 31, 2015

GMB REACTION TO EDF ANNOUNCEMENT OF 60% UK SUPPLY CHAIN SHARE OF HINKLEY POINT C CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

The size of the UK supply chain involvement is reassuring and we need to make sure that we maintain such high levels of UK supply chain involvement for all future nuclear new build projects says GMB

Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary for energy said, “This is a huge step forward for low carbon electricity in the UK.

GMB members are more confident now than we have been for some time that Hinkley Point C will now go ahead. This is a definite vote of confidence in the project.

The size of the UK supply chain involvement is reassuring and we need to make sure that we maintain such high levels of UK supply chain involvement for all future nuclear new build projects.”

Phil Whitehurst, GMB National Officer for construction Said. “GMB members in construction will welcomes this positive news after a long run of bad news over past months from the French owned energy company EDF NNB along with the myriad of objectors and legal challenges the Hinkley Point C project (HPC) has been subjected to. This is definitely a step forward.

We now have a positive piece of the jigsaw concerning the construction of HPC in place, which promises 25,000 job opportunities, 1,000 apprenticeships and 60% of the construction cost going to UK companies. 

But sadly there are still pieces of the jigsaw missing. The future of the project still hangs in the balance of an agreement between EDF, its investors, and the Conservative Government to secure the Final Investment Decision (FID). We can now only hope that common sense prevails after the summer recess of Parliament, and they come to a financial accord which will spark the recommencement of this much needed project in the UK construction industry.

Whilst we must accept on HPC, that previous Governments handed over our nuclear development to foreign investors, and as a consequence most of the major manufacture of components on the "nuclear Island" such as the reactor pressure vessel, and turbines will be presumably be built in France. That is of course if AREVA the troubled French company which is contracted to build the reactors are kept afloat.

Also in the announcement we still have no percentage figures of other foreign investment. In particular the much recently reported "Chinese investment" and any spin off deals done with the Conservative Government and the Chinese. Both still have to clarify the allegations put recently by GMB to Amber Rudd the newly appointed Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change regarding a play off situation with the Chinese investors on other EDF nuclear installations.

GMB has concerns regarding the play off with those investors on the decommissioning and new build of the Bradwell nuclear site, and it being handed over in its totality to the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) as part of the deal to secure the funding pathway for HPC. Until those allegation are addressed the perpetuity of confidence and transparency of the funding jigsaw of HPC will not be complete.”

End

Contact: Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary on 07710 618909 or Phil Whitehurst, GMB National Officer Construction on 07968 338810 or GMB Press Office on 07974 251823.

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