The British government has announced its intention to acquire a 20% stake in the €23.8 billion nuclear power plant in Sizewell, Suffolk.
The government will take on the stake alongside EDF Energy, which will also invest to acquire a 20% stake in the project. Ministers are hoping that infrastructure investors and other pension funds will take on the remaining 60% stake.
A legislation to allow the cost and financing of building the planned Sizewell C nuclear plant to be added to customers’ bills is going through parliament. Recently, Boris Johnson told nuclear industry bosses that the government wants the UK to get 25% of its electricity from nuclear power. The Prime Minister met executives from major nuclear utilities and technology companies including the UK’s Rolls-Royce, France’s EDF, and the US’s Westinghouse and Bechtel.
Currently, the UK generates about 16% of its power from nuclear power stations, but several reactors are slated for closure.
Tom Greatrex, the Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), said: “Accelerating nuclear projects is absolutely essential to keep energy costs down, cut expensive gas imports and strengthen our energy security as we move towards net zero. That means urgently investing in a fleet of large and small nuclear stations, alongside renewable investment, to deliver the clean, sovereign power we need.”
Earlier this month, PM Johnson had announced the UK will stop importing Russian oil by the end of 2023, in a bid to stop Moscow exerting influence through energy. There are no gas pipelines directly linking the UK with Russia and imports from Russia made up less than 4% of total UK gas supply in 2021.