During the recent China State Visit to the UK, EDF and Chinese partner China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) have made a formal commitment to the Hinkley C nuclear build project in Somerset. The new nuclear build will be the first of its kind in the UK since the 1970s and is expected to meet approximately 7% of the UK’s electricity needs. First operation of Hinkley Point C is scheduled to be in 2025.
A strategic investment agreement has been signed by the companies with EDF taking a 66.5% share and CGN taking 33.5%. The UK Government and EDF have finalised the details of a Contract for Difference for the project at £92.50/MWh for 35 years or if Sizewell C goes ahead it will be reduced to £89.50/MWh, both at 2012 prices. This will provide electricity price certainty for the project developers/operators.
EDF and CGN have signed the Heads of Terms of an agreement in principle to develop Sizewell C in Suffolk to a final investment decision with a view to build and operate two EPR reactors. During the development phase EDF will take an 80% share and CGN will take a 20% share.
EDF and CGN have been working as industrial partners for 30 years. This includes the joint venture between CGN and EDF to build two EPR reactors at Taishan, China. This is the same technology chosen for Hinkley Point C. China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) will make its investment in the UK through its new company called General Nuclear International (GNI).
A funded decommissioning programme has also been approved by the Government to try to ensure that no extra costs are charged to the tax payer if the plant is decommissioned in future.