The boss of petrochemical company Ineos, Jim Ratcliffe, has said that nobody is going to buy power from the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, as it will be much more expensive than energy from elsewhere.
Chemical company Ineos owns the Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland, which supplies Scotland with shale gas imported from the US.
Ineos boss Ratcliffe told the BBC that power generated by the government-backed nuclear power plant Hinkley C will be unaffordable for UK manufacturers.
He said that the £92.50 per megawatt hour (MWh) minimum price for 35 years set by the government is too high compared to what manufacturers would pay for foreign energy.
“Forget it. Nobody in manufacturing is going to go near £95 per MWh”, he said.
“The UK probably has the most expensive energy in the world. It is more expensive than Germany, it is more expensive than France, it is much, much, more expensive than America. It is not competitive at all, on the energy front, I am afraid.”
Ratcliffe added that Ineos had recently closed a deal for nuclear power from France at €45 (£37.94) per MWh and that it is looking at the possibility of exploiting shale gas in the UK.
Plans to build Hinkley C were revealed in October by the government and French energy firm EDF, which would cover the construction cost with £16 billion.
The European commission announced earlier this month that it begin scrutinising the project to ensure that the UK had complied with the state aid rules.