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UK, EDF sign £16bn deal for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station construction

EBR Staff Writer Published 21 October 2013

The UK Government has signed a £16bn deal with French power utility, EDF Energy for construction of the Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power station in Somerset, southwestern England.

Following year-long negotiations, the government has agreed to pay EDF £92.50/MWh for electricity generated from the new reactor, which is expected to provide a stable source of clean power from 2023.

The agreement sets a strike price of £89.5/MWh fully indexed to the consumer price index that benefits from an upfront reduction of £3/MWh, assuming that the developer would share the costs of the European pressurised water reactors (EPRs) across the Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C sites.

Executed by an EDF-led consortium, the project will include construction of two EPR nuclear reactors units, two turbine halls, cooling water infrastructure, fuel and waste management facilities, including storage, electricity transmission infrastructure, service and ancillary buildings, among various others.

China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), along with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Areva, are expected to participate in the project as minority shareholders.

Commenting on contract, UK Prime Ministery David Cameroon said, ''This also marks the next generation of nuclear power in Britain, which has an important part to play in contributing to our future energy needs and our longer term security of supply.''

EDF Energy Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz said, ''This decision sets up a huge opportunity for this project to provide enormous benefits to the UK in jobs, skills, cutting carbon emissions and future energy security.''

Responding to the agreement, CBI director-general John Cridland commented, "Amid understandable public concern about rising bills, it's important to remember this investment will help mitigate the impact of increasing costs.''

EDF Energy and other investors will fund the project, while consumers will pay for the electricity it generates from 2023 through their bills.