Sizewell C nuclear plant confirmed with £700 million backing by UK government
29 November 2022
The UK government has confirmed the planned Sizewell C nuclear power plant and will back the development with £700 million, the first state backing of a UK nuclear project in over 30 years. First announced in the recent autumn statement, the confirmation on November 29 will see the UK become a 50% shareholder with EDF while buying out a Chinese state-owned nuclear group.
Plans for the two-reactor nuclear plant were approved in July, however there were reports that the plans were under review in by the UK government in recent months. These reports were denied by the government which will now hold a 50% stake during the development phase of the Sizewell C project as part of its deal with EDF. New third-party investment will be sought to finance the construction and operation of the plant.
The agreement between the UK and EDF also means that China General Nuclear (CGN) will sell its 20% stake in the project after many expressed concern about China being involved in Britain’s nuclear industry.
Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps visited the Sizewell site in Suffolk on November 29 to mark the signing of contracts with energy company EDF. In a statement announcing a package of measures to help secure the UK’s energy independence, the government said that Sizewell C would help continue the revitalisation of the country’s nuclear industry and would be positioned at the heart of the new blueprint to Britain’s energy sovereignty. The project is expected to create 10,000 highly skilled jobs and provide reliable, low-carbon, power to the equivalent of 6 million homes for over 50 years.
As part of the measures, the government will also set up Great British Nuclear – a vehicle tasked with developing a resilient pipeline of new nuclear builds, with an announcement expected early in the new year.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said: “Today’s investment in Sizewell C represents the biggest step on our journey to energy independence – the first state backing for a nuclear project in over 30 years. Once complete, this mega project will power millions of homes with clean, affordable, home-grown energy for decades to come.
“Together with our drive to improve the nation’s energy efficiency, this package will help to permanently bring down energy bills and stop Britain being at the mercy of global gas prices beyond our control.”
For more information, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-takes-major-steps-forward-to-secure-britains-energy-independence