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Nuclear companies EDF, Horizon, struggle to get investors and taxpayer funding for UK nuclear projects

FT 17th Jan 2018, EDF is aiming to attract pension funds and other institutional investors to
help finance another UK nuclear plant at Sizewell to follow its £20bn
project at Hinkley Point.

The French state-controlled utility said it was working on “innovative financing models” for its Sizewell C project in
Suffolk and was in early-stage talks about potential UK government backing for the project.

EDF’s plans for Sizewell are longstanding but remarks on
Wednesday by Simone Rossi, the company’s new UK chief executive,
represented its firmest commitment to the project so far. Mr Rossi insisted
he had “absolute support” from EDF’s leadership in Paris to push
ahead with Sizewell, despite stress on the company’s finances from its
existing nuclear construction projects at Hinkley in Somerset and
Flamanville in France.

He said EDF aimed to cut the construction cost of
Sizewell by 20 per cent compared with Hinkley through efficiency gains.

Horizon, another UK nuclear developer owned by Hitachi of Japan, is also
aiming to attract institutional investment in its proposed Wylfa nuclear
plant in Wales. Horizon believes pension funds will be interested once its
plant is finished and it wants help from the UK and Japanese government to
finance construction in the meantime. Mr Rossi said public finance for
Sizewell was “not a prerequisite” but EDF would work with the UK
government to develop alternative financing structures.

Investment is also expected from Chinese state-owned CGN, which owns a third of Hinkley, and
is planning its own UK nuclear plant in partnership with EDF at Bradwell in
Essex. Sizewell, Bradwell and Wylfa are competing for finance and political
support, along with the Moorside project in Cumbria which is in the process
of being sold by Toshiba of Japan to Kepco of South Korea.


January 19, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK

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