Sizewell C set for £100m government boost

The proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk has received a £100m pledge from the UK government, a market signal designed to attract more outside investment.

Sizewell C
Sizewell C (lighter color on the right) would sit next to Sizewell B (darker, on the left) Credit: EDF

Led by French nuclear giant EDF Energy – also the lead on Somerset’s Hinkley C – the estimated £20 billion Sizewell C would produce 3.2 GW of electricity, powering around six million UK homes. In light of rising gas prices, the £100m announcement has been hailed by both the UK government and EDF as timely, despite power supply to the nuclear power plant being said to be more than a decade away.

EDF submits the planning application for Sizewell C

“We are very pleased that the Government is showing its confidence in Sizewell C which, if approved, will lower energy costs for consumers and help isolate the UK from global gas prices,” said Simone Rossi, CEO of EDF Energy. “Together with our own investment, these funds will enable us to move the project further towards a financial investment decision.

“Sizewell C will benefit from being a near replica of Hinkley Point C in Somerset, which has been in construction for over 5 years and is making great strides in the challenging context of the COVID pandemic. Sizewell C will provide a huge economic boost to East Suffolk, where it already enjoys the support of most of the local people. It will also open up new opportunities for thousands of companies in the nuclear supply chain across the country.”

If the project goes ahead, the government will be repaid the £100 million with cash or stock in the umbrella company. However, if no final investment decision is made, the government will request reimbursement through the development company, a claim on the site or directly from EDF. It is claimed that the green light for the project would mean the creation of 10,000 jobs in Suffolk and the UK. The £100 million announcement was welcomed by the wider nuclear community.

“This is another big step forward for Sizewell C and a great vote of confidence in nuclear,” said Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA). “It sends a clear signal from the government to investors that it sees projects like Sizewell C as essential to our clean energy transition.

“Investing in new nuclear capacity is essential for us to reach net zero to ensure a solid foundation of reliable low-carbon energy that will strengthen our energy security. This is not only an investment in the future of green energy in the UK, but also in jobs and skills across the country.”

Abhishek Maheswari
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