reacts to £18bn Hinkley Point C deal signing
years of talks, EDF and the Government have finally unveiled an
agreement to build the first UK nuclear power station in a generation
with the help of Chinese funding.
deal for Hinkley Point C near Burnham-On-Sea, was signed by Chinese
President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister David Cameron, during
a state visit to the UK, ends years of negotiation and means the
£18 billion reactor should be operational by 2025.
set to provide a boost for the national and local economy - creating
25,000 jobs, with at least 5,000 people from Somerset expected
to work directly on the project, providing a £40 million
boost to the local economy every year.
Energy's share in Hinkley Point C will be 66.5% and its Chinese
partner China General Nuclear Corporation's will be 33.5%. Without
reducing this initial stake below 50%, EDF says it intends to
bring other investors into the project.
Burnham's MP James Heappey welcomed the announcement, saying:
"This is fantastic news for Somerset. Hundreds of millions
of pounds in investment, tens of thousands of jobs and supply
chain opportunities across Somerset and beyond. This will electrify
our local economy for decades; requiring the development of new
skills and positioning us as the centre of the UKs civil
nuclear industry. The impact on our county will be tremendous."
added: "And this is a huge step forward for the UK too. Achieving
the right energy mix that strikes a balance between security of
supply, cost to consumers and environmental impact must have new
nuclear as its centrepiece. We must push on with growing our renewables
industry and we will need gas fired power stations too but our
national base-load will be provided by Hinkley C and the other
new nuclear power stations."
to criticism of the cost, Mr Heappey added: "The agreed strike
price of £92.50 is certainly not cheap but it is competitive
with renewables like off-shore wind and brings a reliability that
allows it to operate as our base-load. It is also the first in
a series of deals to build new nuclear power stations and, as
such, paves the way for cheaper strike prices to be negotiated
on further projects."
Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge's Mayor Michael Clarke added: "I
think this will be a great benefit to our local economy, generating
jobs for people in the Burnham and Highbridge area, both directly
and indirectly. It's very good news that a decision on this has
finally been made after many years to getting to this stage."
Sedgemoor District Council leader Duncan McGinty said: "We
welcome the announcement which represents significant progress
for Hinkley Point C which will be the UK's largest engineering
and construction project in modern times. Sedgemoor District Council,
together with partners, will continue working towards maximising
local benefits but being mindful of the mitigating measures that
will be required."
two local councils of Sedgemoor and West Somerset recognise the
responsibility of hosting the resurgence of the UK's nuclear industry
and will continue work with both the Government and EDF Energy
to ensure that the benefits to their communities are long-lasting."
Leader of Somerset County Council, David Hall, said: "We
are massively encouraged by what we see today. It's a clear commitment
from both parties to move this £18bn, once in a generation
project forward. We have worked closely with Government, educational
and private businesses locally, regionally and nationally to get
to this point and we are looking forward to the lasting legacy
the development is set to bring."
development presents a massive opportunity for Somerset and the
South West region. Hinkley Point C is expected to provide 25,000
jobs during construction 900 jobs in its planned 60 year operating
life with at least 5,000 people from Somerset expected to work
directly on the project an immeasurable benefit for the
local economy. Hinkley Point C looks set to kick start the national
nuclear renaissance and will be the catalyst for economic growth
in Somerset and the wider South West region."
Langdon, who leads Somerset Chamber oif Trades Hinkley Supply
Chain Team, said: "This latest announcement is another very
positive step towards a Final Investment Decision for Hinkley
Point C. Once we reach that point, the project will begin to generate
a significant boost for the local and regional economy, creating
a wealth of jobs, investment and other opportunities."
a short-term lull in activity on-site, the supply chain work has
been ongoing behind the scenes with EDF Energy, Tier 1 contractors
and suppliers to map and match capabilities with work package
Somerset Chamber and its Hinkley Supply Chain Team will continue
to engage with the main contractor requirements so that valuable
supply chain connections with Somerset and South West businesses
can be made. Having worked in collaboration with EDF Energy and
the regional supply chain over the last two years, we were delighted
when five local supplier alliances were announced by EDF Energy
as the preferred bidders for contracts worth over £225million.
We can only promote the Somerset and South West businesses we
know about, so for any businesses not yet registered who want
to get involved in the project, we would strongly recommend they
register on the Hinkley supply chain as soon as possible."
Secretary Amber Rudd said: "We are tackling a legacy of under-investment
and building energy infrastructure fit for the 21st century as
part of our plan to provide the clean, affordable and secure energy
that hardworking families and businesses across the country can
rely on now and in the future."
"The UK is open for business and this is a good deal for
everyone Hinkley Point C will continue to meet our robust
safety regulations and will power nearly six million households
with low-carbon energy, creating over 25,000 jobs and more financial
security for working people and their families."
de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy said: "Hinkley Point
C and successive nuclear projects will guarantee the UK the reliable,
secure low carbon electricity it needs in the future. Nuclear
power will save customers money compared with other energy options
and provide a huge boost to British industrial strength, jobs
and skills both in Britain and abroad. Todays announcements
are also good news in the fight against climate change."
Stop Hinkley spokesperson Alan Jeffery said: "Why does George
Osborne want to throw good money after bad on this project. In
the process, he has devastated the UKs burgeoning renewable
energy industry, threatening up to 20,000 jobs in the process.
He is doing his best to kill off an innovative industry of the
future in order to keep alive a technology of the past. It makes
about as much sense as funding a telegram service whilst killing
off the mobile phone industry."
cap in hand to a country with such a lamentable human rights and
health and safety record is bad enough, but doing so to fund the
biggest white elephant in history and kill off the industry which
offers the UKs best hope of tackling climate change is just
insane. Surely it must only be a matter of time before this crazy
scheme collapses under the weight of argument."