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Plans to build a new nuclear power plant have been backed by £100m of government funding to support the development of the Sizewell C project in Suffolk.
The funding commitment from Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will be used to continue the development of the project which will aim to attract further financing from private investors and, subject to value for money and relevant approvals, the UK government.
Ministers have made a commitment to reaching a Final Investment Decision on at least one large-scale nuclear power station. This would provide continuous, low carbon electricity at scale, and reduce our exposure to volatile global gas prices, provided there is clear value for money for consumers and taxpayers.
Negotiations between the government and Sizewell C project developer, EDF, have been ongoing since last year. If built, Sizewell C would power the equivalent of around 6 million homes, as well as supporting up to 10,000 jobs in Suffolk and across the UK.
The £100m option fee will be invested by EDF into the project to help bring it to maturity, attract investors, and advance to the next phase in negotiations. In return, the government will take certain rights over the land of the Sizewell C site and EDF’s shares in the Sizewell C company, providing opportunities to continue to develop nuclear or alternative low carbon energy infrastructure on the site should the project not ultimately be successful.
If Sizewell C reaches a Final Investment Decision, the government will be reimbursed the £100m option fee with a financing return, either in the form of either cash or an equity stake in the project.
If the project does not reach this milestone, the government would ask for either the Sizewell C Company shares or the Sizewell C site or, if EDF is unable to provide these assets as requested by government, the money will be refunded by EDF together with a financing return.