The government has now formally signed contracts with Électricité de France (EDF) and China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) for the £18 billion Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.
At a ceremony in London last week, documents were signed by UK secretary of state for business, energy & industrial strategy Greg Clark, EDF chairman & chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy and CGN chairman He Yu.
They signed the contract for difference, which will guarantee the above-market rate at which the UK government will buy electricity generated by the plant, and the secretary of state investor agreement, which will give the UK government control over future ownership transactions.
The contracts will also allow for the development of new nuclear power stations at Sizewell B in Suffolk and Bradwell B in Essex.
EDF said that the event marked the end of the development phase of the scheme after years of preparing and planning. Chairman Jean-Bernard Levy commented: “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.”
The signing comes a few months later than anticipated, after a surprise intervention by prime minister Theresa May, whose decision to review and sometimes overturn key plans of the former David Cameron regime has only added to all the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s move out of the European Union.
Among all this political uncertainty, we are still waiting to see, for instance, what the Maybies (©PB) will decide on the southern England airport expansion plans.