Photo of former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reviewing plans for Sizewell C
PARIS (Reuters) – The British government, along with France’s EDF, will take a 50% stake in the company responsible for building Britain’s new Sizewell C nuclear power plant, the government in London announced on Tuesday, making the deal possible to buy Chinese shares and attracting new investors.
In a press release, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy confirmed the state’s direct investment of 700 million pounds (808 million euros) to participate in the development of the project with EDF.
For the first time since 1987, and following the approval of the Sizewell B power station, the British government directly invested in the development of a new nuclear power plant project.
“This historic investment of 700 million pounds will allow the British Government to become a 50% partner in the development of the project with EDF and to collaborate with the company to raise capital for the project”, the Secretary of State pointed out. , Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The deal implies that China General Nuclear (CGN) will sell its 20% stake in the project, leading several British MPs to express their concerns at the round table.
The Sizewell C power project, located in South East England, is expected to create 10,000 skilled jobs and provide six million homes with low-carbon electricity over the next 50 years.
“Today’s historic agreement on the government’s support for the development of Sizewell C is essential (…) to move us closer to greater energy independence and away from the risks to our supply through dependence on volatile global energy markets”, Secretary of State Shops said in a statement.
For his part, Simone Rossi, managing director of EDF Energy, welcomed “an important vote of confidence in Sizewell C”.
“We are happy that the government has partnered with us to prepare a plan for further investment,” he said in the statement.
According to EDF, the cost of the project could be 20% less than the British Hinkley Point C power plant, estimated at between 25 and 26 billion deliveries after years of delays and budget overruns.
EDF, which already operates nine nuclear reactors in the UK, said in a separate press release that the construction of the Sizewell C plant is subject to a final investment decision.
“EDF and the British government will work together to finalize the remaining stages, in particular the ability to raise the necessary funds to implement the project,” the French group said.
EDF will only retain a maximum 20% minority stake in the final investment decision, he said.
(Writing by Blandine Hénault and Marc Angrand, Editing by Sophie Louet)