(Bloomberg) --

Electricite de France SA said the cost of building its flagship Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the UK is set to spiral further to £32 billion ($38.5 billion). 

Higher levels of inflation have pushed up the estimated spend on the plant, the French energy giant said in a presentation published alongside its annual results.  

The revised estimate is the latest indication of surging costs after the start of plant was delayed last year. In May, EDF raised the price tag to build the two reactors at Hinkley to £25 billion to £26 billion, 

Also see: EDF’s UK Hinkley Point C Cost Swells as Startup Delayed

The plant is due to start in June 2027, but there is a risk of an additional delay of around 15 months, it added.

The cost overruns at Hinkley Point have sullied a plant that was supposed to usher in a nuclear renaissance in the UK, as the government seeks to boost the country’s energy independence and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Both EDF and its partner in the project, China General Nuclear Power Corp., will be asked to provide additional voluntary equity for the project. It is unlikely that the Chinese entity will offer any additional funding for the project once a previously-agreed equity cap is met, EDF said, meaning the French company may have to cover the overruns. 

EDF has increased the Hinkley Point budget multiple times from an initial estimate of £18 billion when the contract was signed with the UK in 2016.

--With assistance from Ania Nussbaum.

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