EDF and UK government set to sign deal on Hinkley Point C nuclear power station

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The signings took place between the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark, EDF group Chairman and CEO Jean Bernard-Levy and CGN Chairman He Yu. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and the Administrator of the Chinese National Energy Administration Nur Bekri attended the ceremony. 

The event marks the end of the project’s development phase following years of rigorous preparation and planning.Today’s signing formally relaunches new nuclear construction in the UK and Europe and will provide a significant boost for industry in Britain and France. The plant’s two EPR reactors will provide reliable, low carbon electricity to meet 7% of the UK’s future electricity needs. Their construction is a major step forward in the fight against climate change.

The project is an essential part of EDF Group’s strategy to be a leading long term investor and developer of low carbon electricity. It strengthens EDF’s presence in the UK where it successfully operates 15 nuclear reactors, serves millions of customers and invests in a wide range of generation technologies.

Hinkley Point C will be competitive with all other future energy choices and it has been shown to offer consumers value for money. It will also have a long-lasting impact on industry, jobs and skills, creating thousands of high quality jobs and apprenticeships in Somerset and across the UK and France. Work to enable the British supply chain to compete for contracts for Hinkley Point C means that EDF now expects 64% of the project’s value to be spent in the UK.

The signings also mark a new chapter in the longstanding partnership between EDF and CGN. Their joint experience in successfully constructing two EPRs at Taishan in China will bring direct benefits to the Hinkley Point C project. Agreements signed will enable the development of nuclear power stations at Sizewell C in Suffolk and Bradwell B in Essex.

EDF and its partners are now fully dedicated to the successful construction of the Hinkley Point C project which is already well advanced. The EPR reactor design is approved by the UK regulator.

Experience from other EPR projects has been fully integrated into Hinkley Point’s planning and design. Early involvement with suppliers and preparatory work in engineering has taken place.

Comprehensive agreements with trade unions are in place covering safety, quality and productivity. Waste transfer contracts signed today mean that, for the first time in the UK, the full costs of decommissioning and waste management associated with the new power station will be are set aside during generation and are included in the price of the electricity.

EDF confirms again that the first electricity is due to be produced in 2025 and that the construction cost to first operation remains at £18bn nominal (1). 

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said : “Signing the Contract for Difference for Hinkley Point C is a crucial moment in the UK’s first new nuclear power station for a generation and follows new measures put in place by Government to strengthen security and ownership. Britain needs to upgrade its supplies of energy, and we have always been clear that nuclear power stations like Hinkley play an important part in ensuring our future low-carbon energy security.”

EDF Group Chairman Jean-Bernard Levy said: “Contracts signed today with the British Government and with our historic partner CGN are the result of years of hard work of the teams which have brought us to this point. The project is of strategic importance for EDF Group and the nuclear industry. All of the employees of EDF Group around the world can be proud of the progress we have made. Now the next phase is underway. EDF, its partners and suppliers are ready and dedicated to the successful construction of Hinkley Point C.” 

EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz said: “Hinkley Point C will kickstart Britain’s nuclear revival. It has overcome obstacles and challenges which will benefit our next nuclear projects in Britain. This huge investment has been made possible by the consistent policies of successive Governments to provide secure, affordable, low carbon electricity. I want to thank our team, our suppliers, trade unions and the people of Somerset for their dedication, determination and patience. Their support has been vital to our success.”

EDF Energy
EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to over 5 million customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.

EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.

These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 14,000 people at locations across the UK.To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/