17 Feb 12

EDF announces progress on UK nuclear new build and hails Franco-British declaration to strengthen co-operation on energy

Signs agreements with Areva, Kier BAM and Bridgwater College

Confirms deals to boost training opportunities and create jobs in UK and France

EDF has today demonstrated further progress towards plans to build up to four new nuclear plants in the UK, through signing new agreements at the Franco-British Summit in Paris. These agreements, together with others concluded by third parties in relation to safety, engineering and R&D, will support EDF’s plans to develop its first new nuclear plants at Hinkley Point with its partner Centrica.

The project, the final investment decision for which is expected to be made at the end of this year, represents a massive investment in UK infrastructure and unprecedented opportunities for the supply chain in France and the UK, employing up to 25,000 people over the course of construction with 5,600 people on site at peak. There are already in excess of 700 people in UK and France working on the Hinkley Point C project.

The agreements signed today include:

• A £100 million–plus contract with Kier BAM for site preparation works at Hinkley Point C.

• A Memorandum of Understanding with AREVA relating to the delivery of the nuclear steam supply system and central instrumentation and control systems for the Hinkley Point C project and confirming the timeframe for completing the negotiation for this contract.

• A £15 million investment to establish a world class national training centre in partnership with Bridgwater College in Somerset.

The agreement with Kier BAM is the first major construction contract for preliminary works at Hinkley Point C, the site of EDF Energy’s first two planned nuclear power plants. The initial activities in relation to these works are expected to begin this spring.

The contract coincides with the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Bridgwater College in Somerset under which EDF Energy will pledge £15m of funding. This sets the foundation for the world class training campus facility that EDF Energy will develop in Somerset. The preferred site for the centre is the college’s facilities at Cannington Court, subject to design, planning and due-diligence. In addition, EDF Energy has appointed BDG architecture+design as architects for the proposed facility.

Henri Proglio, President of EDF Group, said:

"The Franco-British Agreement reached today will be a catalyst for further collaboration which will result in significant economic activity for both nations and provide an important boost to the nuclear industry in the UK and France. It shows our collective and unwavering commitment to safety, skills, research and development and international co-operation. The agreements signed today will help create opportunities in both nations in these difficult economic times. I hope 2012 will see ever closer ties as we take forward our work on nuclear."

Vincent de Rivaz, Chief Executive of EDF Energy, said:

"Over the past few months we have achieved many significant milestones in our new build plans. The agreements announced today show we have maintained momentum in 2012. We now have a strong platform in place to build on our existing achievements and continue our work. This is crucial to the growth agenda in both countries."

Latest progress on Nuclear New Build

• The Government has set out how it is reforming the electricity market. The carbon price floor is in place. We are working with Government on the practical details of the Contracts for Difference including transitional arrangements.

• The National Policy Statement was set in stone in July 2011 by a Parliamentary vote of 267 to 14.

• Shortly after, also in July, the local authorities in Somerset took a major decision to grant planning permission for site preparation.

• Following a three year consultation with the local community, EDF Energy submitted its Development Consent Order application to the IPC, which it accepted on November 24 2011

• We have continued our engagement with the supply chain and in December held our National Supply Chain event involving more than 350 companies.

• In December 2011 the joint regulators (Office for Nuclear Regulation and Environment Agency) issued interim design acceptance confirmation for the EPR Pressurized Water Reactor, describing this themselves as a major milestone in the process.

• This is significant progress following four years of assessment by one of the most rigorous independent nuclear safety regulators in the world.