EDF Energy will not set a firm date for completion of its first new nuclear power plant in Britain until it makes its final investment decision at the end of next year, the chief executive said on Thursday.
I will not give a firm and final completion date at this stage. At the moment of the FID (Final Investment Decision), I expect to be able to do so, CEO Vincent de Rivaz said in a statement.
Britain's largest nuclear power producer plans to submit a 30,000-page planning application to the UK's Infrastructure Planning Commission for the new plant before the end of this month, Rivaz said.
In July it applied for a site licence and an environmental permit for its Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Somerset.
EDF's original start-up date of early 2018 was delayed following Japan's nuclear disaster in March, which forced the utility to adjust its timetable for the plant due to uncertainties about the future of nuclear power.
Rivaz said the company will begin preparing the site next spring but it has not yet set a timetable for construction.
Existing nuclear plants are performing well and their lifespans could be extended to fill any energy gap, Rivaz said.
We will deliver it in a timely fashion -- on time according to the construction timetable we will set when we begin -- and in time according to Britain's needs, he said.
The company also said on Thursday it completed the sale of land at Wylfa, Anglesey to Horizon Nuclear Power, a joint venture between E.ON UK and RWE npower, to build a new nuclear plant.
EDF Energy can confirm that the land owned by EDF at Wylfa, Anglesey has been sold to Horizon Nuclear Power, a spokesman said.
The commitment to sell the land at Wylfa was made to the UK government at the time of acquiring British Energy in 2008, an EDF spokesman said.
(Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic and Nina Chestney; Editing by Alison Birrane)