Point C plans suffer blow as Centrica pulls out of the project
to build a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point, near Burrnham-On-Sea,
suffered a blow today (Monday) when utility company Centrica pulled
out of the project.
says its decision not to proceed follows a "detailed appraisal
of the project".
expained: "While there has been progress in a number of key
project areas, particularly design and planning, there remains
uncertainty about overall project costs and the construction schedule."
acquired a 20% interest in EDF Energys eight operational
nuclear power stations in the UK in 2009 when it also took an
option for a 20% interest in the construction of new nuclear power
stations at Hinkley Point and Sizewell.
taken the decision not to proceed with the new nuclear investment,
the Group will launch a £500 million share repurchase programme,
to return surplus capital to shareholders, which will be conducted
over the next 12 months.
Laidlaw, Chief Executive of Centrica, said: "We believe that
nuclear generation has a valuable role to play in a balanced UK
energy mix. Centrica and EDF continue to enjoy a successful partnership
in existing nuclear. However, since our initial investment, the
anticipated project costs in new nuclear have increased and the
construction timetable has extended by a number of years."
factors, in particular the lengthening time frame for a return
on the capital invested in a project of this scale, have led us
to conclude that participation is not right for Centrica and our
shareholders. In 2012 we invested over £2 billion in securing
supplies of energy for the UK and where we see attractive returns
we will continue to invest in Britains energy future."
20% interest in the eight existing nuclear power stations in the
UK is unaffected by the decision.