True or false? A new nuclear power station in the south-west of the UK will be the most expensive object on Earth. That’s the claim about the proposed plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset – but has anything else ever cost so much to build?
“Hinkley is set to be the most expensive object on Earth… best guesses say Hinkley could pass £24bn ($35bn),” said the environmental charity Greenpeace last month as it launched a petition against the project.
…Even if you stick with the expense of construction alone, though, the price is still high – the main contractor, EDF, puts it at £18bn ($26bn).
Here is the story, via Tim Harford. Being good Austrians, let’s put cost of production aside and focus on potential market value. Might there be an object which would auction for at least this much, if it were put on the market? If so, which one? The Mona Lisa? A pyramid? How about St. Peters? Worth more or less than a nuclear power plant? The Grand Mosque in Mecca? The Great Wall of China?
Going back to cost of production, the article also mentions:
But these are all exceeded by the $54bn (£37bn) Gorgon liquefied natural gas plant built by Chevron in Australia.
And (not on earth):
The International Space Station. Price tag: 100bn euros (£77.6bn, or $110bn).