The government of Britain, the Sizewell C Company and EDF have launched a search for companies to invest in the Sizewell C nuclear power station in the UK. According to a statement from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, the team is looking for companies with substantial experience in the delivery of major infrastructure projects.
Julia Pyke said that the launch of the formal equity raise opens another exciting phase for the project, following a positive response from investors during market testing. Pyke is the Sizewell C Company Joint Managing Director.
Thus far, the government has already invested £700 million in the Sizewell C nuclear power station project in the UK. This is the first such direct public investment in a nuclear project for a generation. The ministers have also made £511 million available to continue project development and prepare the Suffolk site for construction, ahead of the planned raise for the project.
Sizewell C nuclear power station project overview
Sizewell C is a proposed 3,200 MWe nuclear power station in Suffolk, England. The project was proposed by a consortium of EDF Energy and China General Nuclear Power Group. The companies own 80% and 20% of the project respectively.
The implementation of the Sizewell C nuclear power station project is expected to commence before 2024. It will take between nine and twelve years, depending on developments at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station project. Both projects were developed by EDF Energy, and they reportedly share major similarities.
The project is expected to cost £20 billion. EDF will reportedly look to the UK government to assist with financing. The government will either offer a Regulated Asset Base model, which puts an immediate cost burden on end consumers, or other approaches such as a government equity stake in the development.
Once operational, the two EPR reactors fitted Sizewell C nuclear power station are expected to meet about 7% of the UK’s demand.
Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station Project Timeline
Government injects £100m into Sizewell C nuclear power plant project.
The proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant project has been offered a £100m funding package by the government to support the continued development of the facility in Suffolk. The fund, technically not a grant but an option fee, will be used to maintain the project alive and, it is anticipated, to attract much financing from the private sector.
The Sizewell C nuclear power plant project doesn’t have full government approval yet but ministers are dedicated to reaching a final investment plan as soon as possible on at least one large-scale nuclear power station. Sizewell C project developer, EDF, and the government have been in ongoing negotiations since last year.
The Sizewell C nuclear power plant project offers high-quality jobs and drives economic growth.
When Sizewell C gets the nod, it will reimburse the government’s £100m option fee with a financing return, but in the form of either an equity stake in the project or a cash amount. If the scheme stalls, the government would then ask for either the Sizewell C site or the Sizewell C company shares. If EDF is unable to offer all the assets as required by the government, EDF together with a financing return will refund the money.
Kwasi Kwarteng, the business and energy secretary, stated: “In light of high global gas prices, we have to certify Britain’s future energy supply is bolstered by affordable and reliable low carbon power that is generated in the country. New nuclear is an important part of our plans to ascertain greater energy independence offer high-quality jobs and drive economic growth.
The funding revealed will much support Sizewell C development during this crucial phase of negotiations as we aim to maximize investor confidence in this nationally significant scheme.” Simone Rossi, the EDF Energy chief executive added: “We’re much delighted that the government is showing such confidence in Sizewell C which, when approved, will reduce energy costs for consumers and insulate the region from global gas prices.”
Plans for construction of US $20.1bn Sizewell C nuclear power station in the UK submitted
The application to build a US $20.1bn Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk, has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. If approved, Sizewell C will supply around 6 million homes with always-on, low-carbon electricity made in the UK. It will support the expansion of renewables and improve the UK’s national resilience by reducing the need for energy imports.
The Development Consent Order (DCO) application was deferred for 2 months in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances created by the Coronavirus. Extra measures will be put in place to make it easier for local communities to scrutinize the proposals once they are published. These include extending the pre-examination period to allow more time for interested parties to register with the Planning Inspectorate.
Sizewell C nuclear power station
The new power station will provide a huge stimulus to the UK economy following the Coronavirus pandemic. Around 25,000 employment opportunities and 1,000 apprenticeships will be created during construction.
In the East of England, Sizewell C will boost training and employment opportunities for young people and create long-term, well-paid jobs. Once operational, it will employ 900 people in high-skilled positions based in Suffolk. Up to 70% of the construction value will be spent with firms across the UK, including in the East of England, Wales, and in the North.
Sizewell C will be a near replica of Hinkley Point C in Somerset which is delivering huge economic benefits to the South West and boosting the UK’s industrial capacity. Using the same design means Sizewell C will benefit from significantly reduced construction costs and lower risk. Innovative financing has the potential to reduce costs even further.
According to Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson CBE, Managing Director, Sizewell C, Sizewell C is a net zero infrastructure project ready to kick-start the economy following the Coronavirus crisis. It will offer thousands of high-quality job opportunities and long-term employment for people living in Suffolk and it will strengthen the nuclear supply chain across the country.
“On top of the economic benefits, Sizewell C will avoid 9 million tonnes of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere each year. The project will play a key role in lowering emissions while helping the UK keep control of its low carbon future,” he said.
The application for a DCO follows four rounds of public consultation which began in 2012. More than 10,000 residents and organizations in Suffolk have contributed their views and helped to shape the final proposals.
Planning permission granted for Sizewell C power plant project
Planning permission has been granted for the 3.2 GW twin-reactors Sizewell C nuclear power plant project.
This is after Kwasi Kwarteng overruled government planning inspectors saying that the “very substantial and urgent need” to build the plant outweighed the environmental “harms”. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy pointed to the Government’s plan to boost Britain’s energy security with a new generation of nuclear reactors. He said that Sizewell C would make a “substantial contribution” to that goal.
Tom Greatrex said that the granting of planning approval for the project was a “huge step forward for Britain’s energy security and net zero ambitions.” Greatrex is the chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association. He added that Sizewell C would provide reliable low-carbon power for more than 80 years.
Furthermore, the NIA CEO explained that the facility would cut gas usage and create thousands of high-quality, skilled jobs. In addition, he said Sizewell C would offer long-term investment and opportunities up and down the country.
Possible legal challenge
The Kwasi Kwarteng decision, however, faces a potential legal challenge. There are warnings that the area of Suffolk where the plant will be built lacks the necessary water supplies. Particularly, Essex and Suffolk Water warned that it cannot meet the combined needs of households, other customers, and Sizewell C with existing water supplies. Furthermore, there are fears that the project could result in damage to wildlife habitats.
Allison Downes said the project’s critics were busily “combing through” Mr Kwarteng’s decision and could seek a judicial review. Downes is a spokesman for the campaign group Stop Sizewell C. Reportedly; the campaigners have approximately six weeks to challenge Mr Kwarteng’s decision.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust were also “disappointed” by the decision. Ben McFarland, head of conservation at the trust, said that they maintain that” this is not a suitable location for the project” and that, “it’s far too important for wildlife.”