June 24, 2016 / 8:37 AM / 3 years ago

EDF should delay Hinkley Point decision following Brexit: union

The logo of France's state-owned electricity company EDF is seen next to the Electricite de France (EDF) thermal electricity production plant in Cordemais, France, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French EDF’s (EDF.PA) main labor union said on Friday that the utility should delay the final investment decision on its 18 billion pound ($24 billion) project to build a nuclear plant in Hinkley Point in southern England after Britons voted to quit the European Union.

The project is one of the largest French investment projects in Britain and a final investment decision has been repeatedly delayed since it was first announced in Oct. 2013.

“Brexit brings another element of uncertainty which reinforces our position that the project should be delayed,” CGT energy and mining federation spokeswoman Marie-Claire Cailletaud said.

CGT and EDF’s other unions have argued for months that the state-owned firm should delay its investment decision on the Hinkley Point nuclear reactor project until a similar reactor under construction in France is in operation and not before EDF has sufficiently strengthened is stretched balance sheet.

“Let us wait until the industrial, social, financial and political environment has stabilized so that this project can get under way in good conditions. This really adds a political element to the decision,” Cailletaud added.

EDF declined to comment.

Before the Brexit vote, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron had said that the decision would be taken by September.

The energy and economy ministries were not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Andrew Callus

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