THERE is growing tension surrounding the Hinkley C project amid reports talks between EDF Energy and the Government over the price to be paid for the energy generated have reached “crisis point”.

A planning decision on Hinkley C will be announced before March 19, with Energy Secretary Ed Davey firmly expected to give the thumbs-up.

More important is the signing of a Contract for Difference between the Government and EDF, which would give the firm a guaranteed price for energy produced throughout the lifetime of its new nuclear stations.

The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday the talks were “at crisis point” and could “fail within weeks”, with the Government determined to limit any public subsidies and EDF holding out for the best possible price.

EDF said both sides were working towards a price “which will be fair and balanced for UK consumers and investors.”

A spokesman added: “Agreeing this contract is the key to attracting investors and to unlock funding for this project which will give the UK the secure, low carbon energy it needs for the future.

“The Government can act now to deliver new nuclear in time to avoid the need for a back-up plan.”