European Commission Approves Hinkley Point C

By on October 9, 2014
Pre-construction work at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, UK. Courtesy of EDF.

First new UK nuclear power plant in 20 years

Following a 12-month investigation, the European Commission approved the agreements between EDF Group and the UK government to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

The agreements are for a 35-year contract for the electricity generated at Hinkley Point C and for a guarantee for the project’s debt, the U.K. unit of French state-controlled utility Electricite de France said in a statement. EDF Energy will sell electricity from the proposed plant at market price.

EDF has agreed that the fee for the government’s proposed guarantee of project debt be paid at commercial rates.

Construction will cost around US$22.6 billion. EDF said it will also accrue US$3.2 billion before the plant begins operating in 2023. The non-construction costs include land purchases, achieving the different consents, construction of a spent fuel storage facility and preparing the 900-member team which will run the station.

In 2012, EDF selected joint venture partners Bouygues of France and Laing O’Rourke of the UK to build the project. Areva will provide the two 1,650-meagawatt reactors. EDF must still make a final investment decision based on the conclusion of agreements with strategic and financial partners.

Since March this year, the project team has been preparing the Hinkley Point C construction site, such as building haul roads machinery access, making road improvements on the approach to the site and has started constructing office buildings, worker accommodation and welfare facilities.