October 22, 2015 / 6:19 PM / 4 years ago

S&P says could downgrade EDF if it goes ahead with Hinkley Point

PARIS, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s warned on Thursday it may lower its credit rating for France’s EDF if it presses ahead with an 18 billion pound ($28 billion) project to build two European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) at Hinkley Point in the UK.

Standard and Poor’s left EDF’s rating unchanged at ‘A+’ level with a negative outlook, but said it does not yet factor Hinkley Point C into the base case scenario, given the project’s likely large size and high complexity.

“A binding decision to go ahead with the Hinkley Point C nuclear new build could also prompt us to downgrade EDF, given the project’s high execution risks and substantial investment needs,” it said.

The French utility plans to build two European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) at Hinkley Point with two Chinese partners, but it has been unable to find other investors. China has agreed to invest 6 billion pounds ($9 billion). ($1 = 0.6496 pounds) (Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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