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Nuclear companies NuGen and Horizon keen for projects in UK, despite the Hinkley nuclear fiasco

UK new nuclear programme not dependent on Hinkley, say rivals, Telegraph,    Emily Gosden, energy editor 2 AUGUST 2016  Nuclear developers NuGen and Horizon have played down fears that scrapping Hinkley Point would derail the wider UK new-build programme, insisting their projects are not dependent on EDF’s getting the go-ahead.

Industry experts have warned that confidence across the sector would be damaged if Theresa May pulls the plug on the £18bn project, especially given the French energy giant has already invested £2.4bn in Hinkley with unstinting Government support until now.

But NuGen, which is jointly owned by Japan’s Toshiba and France’s Engie, said it would continue developing its project at Moorside in Cumbria “irrespective of the status of other developers’ plans”.

Moorside NuGen plan Cumbria

Hitachi’s Horizon project, which plans reactors on Anglesey,also distanced itself from the worries over Hinkley, saying its “sole focus remains, as it always has been, on making strong progress with our own flagship Wylfa Newydd power station project”.

Despite Mrs May’s surprise review of Hinkleya Horizon spokesman said it had “no qualms about the continued commitment of the Government to UK nuclear new build”.

Reports in recent days have suggested the UK Government could face compensation demands from EDF if it pulled out of Hinkley.

Peter Atherton, an associate at consultants Cornwall Energy, said EDF had been operating under “an implicit guarantee from the Government that, provided you can get your technology through the approval process, and we can reach a satisfactory contractual arrangement, the project will go ahead”.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on Tuesday reiterated that there would be no liabilities for the UK taxpayer or consumer if Hinkley were cancelled, as no contracts had been signed.

However, Mr Atherton said that if Hinkley were cancelled without any reimbursement for EDF, this would “significantly undermine” other developers’ confidence and might prompt them to seek some sort of financial guarantee.

“If I was them I would say to the Government, OK, if want us to carry on developing this project, we need you to fund it or to guarantee that if you pull the plug on us you pay those development costs,” he said.

Both Horizon and NuGen are privately keen to emphasise the differences between their projects and EDF’s.
Neither project has Chinese involvement, understood to be one of the key causes of concern for Mrs May over Hinkley, which would be one-third funded by Chinese state companies.

Both have also long been working to meet the Government’s expectation that they will be cheaper than Hinkley…..

August 3, 2016 - Posted by | business and costs, UK

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