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Statement in response to Centrica’s decision not to participate in UK nuclear new build
Momentum behind EDF Energy’s new nuclear project at Hinkley Point C in Somerset remains strong. The company notes Centrica’s recognition of progress made on a number of key project areas, including design and planning.
EDF Energy respects Centrica’s strategic decision not to take up its option of a share in the project. EDF Energy was prepared for this decision and understands that the profile and scale of this investment may not meet Centrica’s shareholders’ current expectations and priorities.
EDF Energy values the expertise Centrica has brought to the new nuclear project and the continuing partnership between the two companies in its existing nuclear business. Centrica retains a 20 per cent stake in EDF Energy’s eight nuclear power stations in the UK. These recently recorded their best output for seven years producing 60 TWh of electricity, which is enough to power half of the UK’s homes.
EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz said: “The new nuclear project at Hinkley Point C is making good and continuous progress. EDF Energy is working with Government to agree a price for the electricity at Hinkley Point C which will be fair and balanced for UK consumers and investors. This Contract for Difference is now more than ever the key to attracting investors and to unlock the funding for this project which will give the UK the secure, low carbon energy it needs for the future.
“A robust CFD will be the basis to finalise discussions with potential investors. Centrica’s decision underlines the challenge this represents for the Government. Our discussions with the Government on the CFD are based on well understood and stable costs and a timetable which has already taken account of all the events since 2009 when Centrica joined the project. “
The project at Hinkley Point C is now “shovel-ready” with a world-class team ready to deliver a project as large as the Olympics. Detailed work is taking place to prepare UK suppliers to make the biggest possible contribution to the project and training facilities have been opened to develop the skills needed to build the project. It has the potential to employ 25,000 people during its construction and to have a lasting impact on the UK’s industrial capability.
EDF Energy has made very significant progress on the new nuclear project in at Hinkley Point C in Somerset in recent months, notably with the granting of the reactor design approval by joint regulators and the site license. Moreover, a planning decision from the Secretary of State is anticipated in the coming weeks.