EDF, UK Set Terms For New Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station
Electricite de France SA (EDF) and the UK government have reached commercial agreement on the key terms of a proposed investment contract for the Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power station in Somerset.
HPC will be the first new nuclear power station to be built since Sizewell B, which started generating electricity in 1995. It will begin the process of replacing the existing fleet of nuclear stations, most of which are due to close in the 2020s.
Building HPC will have significant benefits for the UK economy, including a massive investment by EDF and its fellow investors of around £16 billion (US$26B) to build the plant. Further, UK companies could benefit from getting up to 57 percent of the work.
The developer would separately be required to start putting money into a fund from the first day of generation to pay for decommissioning and waste management costs associated with HPC.
The new reactors will generate enough electricity to power nearly 6 million homes once operational, bring 900 permanent jobs to the area and create around 25,000 jobs during construction.
The EDF Group has also announced the intent of two Chinese companies, CGN and CNNC, to invest in HPC as minority shareholders. This follows the signing last week by the Chancellor of a Memorandum of Understanding on civil nuclear energy cooperation between the UK and Chinese Governments.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said:
“This is an excellent deal for Britain and British consumers. For the first time, a nuclear power station in this country will be built without money from the British taxpayer. It will increase energy security and resilience from a safe, reliable, home-grown source of electricity.
“This deal is competitive with other large-scale clean energy and with gas – and while consumers won’t pay anything up front, they’ll share directly in any gains made from the project coming in under budget and from refinancing or equity sales in particular circumstances. We are creating one of the most attractive electricity investment markets in the world – and this is a clear sign that investors are already responding, even before our electricity market reforms become law.”
The nuclear industry provides nearly a fifth of electricity and employs around 40,000 people in the UK.
SOURCE: UK Department of Energy and Climate Change