Around 400 jobs are at risk at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant construction in south-western England as the owners of the project have yet to make a final investment decision.

The contractor jobs are on hold but the firm said the jobs would not be axed as a consultation and a re-deployment programme would be set up. There are currently 800 staff on site.

Earlier this week EDF responded to a query from Power Engineering International on the status of the company’s supply chain development for the project.

Hinkley Point C signEDF’s senior media manager Sue Fletcher told PEi that “it is too early to be able to comment on potential supply chain decisions at this point.”

“EDF and the UK Government are working hard to finalise all agreements on Hinkley Point C and are making significant progress in all areas with the shared objective of finalising documents in the coming weeks. This will allow a final investment decision to be possible in the next few months.”

“EDF is also making progress in discussions with future investment partners in the project. In particular, progress is being made with Chinese partners on all aspects of their nuclear industrial co-operation in the UK, which is part of the wider partnership between EDF and Chinese companies.”

For several months, preparation works have been taking place such as building earthworks, drainage works, concrete production facilities and culvert construction – where water channels are built to move water around the site but now this is nearing completion.

EDF said the second phase was being delayed as it would “require a substantial increase in spending levels”.

A spokesman added: “In the meantime work to ensure the project’s readiness will continue, including project planning, engineering design and commercial supply chain activities.”