The UK Government’s decision to proceed with the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset is good news for British consumers and industry.
Hinkley Point C’s two nuclear reactors will deliver safe, reliable, low carbon nuclear power at a cost competitive with all other future energy options. It will be part of a diverse future energy mix designed to give customers reliable and affordable low carbon energy and help the UK replace its ageing power stations.
The Government has looked at all the component parts of the deal and its decision confirms once again the strength of the project and its benefits to British consumers.
The examination has confirmed the acceptability of all the fundamental elements, including the partnership between EDF and CGN and the fair and balanced agreements which underpin the project.
The new legal framework for British critical infrastructure will provide a sound basis for the projects at Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C and Bradwell B, as set out in the strategic investment agreement signed by EDF and CGN on October 21, 2015.
EDF intends, as stated in October 2015 and in line with Government’s requirements, to retain a controlling stake in the construction of Hinkley Point C.
EDF intends to sign agreements with the UK Government, its Chinese partner CGN and supply chain partners at the earliest opportunity.
Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman of EDF Group said: “The decision of the British Government to proceed with Hinkley Point C marks the relaunch of nuclear in Europe. It demonstrates the UK’s desire to lead the fight against climate change through the development of low carbon electricity. This decision demonstrates confidence in the EPR technology and in the world renowned expertise of the French nuclear industry. I congratulate the teams of EDF who have developed this project to maturity with enthusiasm, professionalism and determination.”
EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz said: “Today’s announcement is good news for British consumers and gives a huge boost to British industry. We remain fully aligned with the British Government. The solid performance of the EDF Energy’s 15 nuclear reactors underpins our credibility as a nuclear operator and developer in the UK. We will take the risk and responsibility to deliver Hinkley Point C and provide the UK with the reliable low carbon electricity it needs. The experience and expertise gained from restarting new nuclear build in the UK will help following projects be even more competitive”
The project will bring huge benefits to the UK supply chain. Work to enable the British supply chain to compete for contracts for Hinkley Point C means that EDF now expects 64% of the project’s value to be spent in the UK. This figure has steadily increased as the company worked with British firms to help them succeed in winning contracts. The expectation in October 2013 was for 57%.
Hinkley Point C will deliver thousands of high quality jobs and apprenticeships for people in Somerset and across the UK. A total of almost £4bn will go into the South West regional economy over the lifetime of the project. EDF Energy has already awarded South West contracts worth more than £435m, creating 650 jobs.
EDF Energy has worked with its Chinese partner CGN for 30 years. Their skill and experience will bring significant benefits to the HPC project. The first EPR built by CGN and EDF at Taishan in China is successfully undergoing commissioning tests and is scheduled to start operating in the first half next year.
The agreements between EDF and CGN pave the way for the development of Sizewell C in Suffolk and Bradwell B in Essex to a final investment decision, subject to all relevant approvals. The benefits of restarting the new nuclear supply chain and experience from Hinkley Point C is expected to lead to lower costs for following UK nuclear projects.
The first electricity from Hinkley Point C is due to be produced in 2025. Consumers pay nothing until electricity is produced and investors take the risk of constructing the power station on time and budget.