GMB Welcome Agreement That Paves The Way For Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station To Go Ahead
Nuclear power is needed to provide low carbon base load electricity to keep the lights in the UK on the 8 to 10 days per month when renewables are not generating power for the grid says GMB.
GMB, the union for nuclear and engineering construction workers, commented on the signing today(21st October 2015) by EDF Group and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) of a Strategic Investment Agreement for the construction and operation of the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. See notes to editors for copy of EDF press release.
Phil Whitehurst, GMB National Officer for construction, said "GMB welcome this agreement on investment for Hinkley Point C. It is as another piece of the jigsaw in place for a project with 25,000 job opportunities, 1,000 apprenticeships and 60% of the construction cost going to UK companies.
Nuclear power is needed to provide low carbon base load electricity to keep the lights in the UK on the 8 to 10 days per month when renewables are not generating power for the grid.
GMB will continue to campaign against the giving the go-ahead for Chinese nuclear technology to be used in a new nuclear power station at Bradwell.
Chinese nuclear technology is unproven and no UK government should even consider allowing it to be used in a new nuclear power station 60 miles from London.
Given our long history in improving safety in the nuclear industry we were deeply concerned to read the comments of physicist He Zuoxiu, an eminent nuclear scientist in China. He Zuoxiu has publicly raised concerns about the safety standards of Chinese components in the nuclear industry. Indeed he has gone further in criticising the Chinese nuclear industry, and it is unusual for such an official to speak out in this way. It suggests that there are very serious issues in the nuclear industry
GMB and people in this country also will not tolerate thousands of Chinese workers being brought over to assemble and build the Chinese reactor on the cheap. We will not tolerate a betrayal of the interests of manufacturing and construction workers in the UK by the Tories.
We have the technology and funding in the UK. GMB consider that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority should be re-tasked and renamed the Nuclear Development Authority. It should be given authority to build Bradwell.
MPs must force the government to retreat on this totally unnecessary policy at Bradwell.”
Contact: Phil Whitehurst 07968 338810 or Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for energy on 07860 606137 or GMB Press Office on 07921 289880 or 07974 251823.
Notes to editors
Copy of EDF press release dated 21st October.
Agreements in place for construction of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station
EDF and CGN sign a Strategic Investment Agreement for joint investment for two EPR reactors at Hinkley Point C
Agreement covers wider UK partnership to develop new nuclear power stations at Sizewell and Bradwell
Contracts between UK Government and EDF in final agreed form
Contracts with top four suppliers for Hinkley Point C in final agreed form
London – Oct 21
EDF Group and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) are today signing a Strategic Investment Agreement for the construction and operation of the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. The signings are due to take place in the presence of the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in London.
Conditions to allow the Hinkley Point C project to go ahead are in place. These are the signing of the Strategic Investment Agreement, all the agreements between EDF and the UK Government being in a final agreed form, as are the contracts with the key suppliers. Under the Strategic Investment Agreement, EDF’s share in Hinkley Point C will be 66.5% and CGN’s will be 33.5%. Without reducing this initial stake below 50%, EDF intends in due course to bring other investors into the project.
China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) will make its investment in the UK through its new company called General Nuclear International (GNI).
EDF and CGN have also agreed the Heads of Terms of a wider UK partnership for the joint development of new nuclear power stations at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex. Terms will be in final form before the final investment decision for Hinkley Point C.
Today’s signing paves the way for the Hinkley Point C project to go ahead and sets the steps for a final investment decision subject to:
- finalisation of long form documentation based on Head of Terms agreed today
- finalisation by EDF of its financing plan
- approval by the boards of EDF and CGN
- clearance by merger control and other governmental authorities in China and Europe.
EDF Chairman Jean-Bernard Lévy said: “Today marks a big step forward for EDF’s 30 year partnership with our Chinese partner CGN. Our ambitious nuclear projects are strongly supported by the governments of the UK, China and France and they will bring benefits to all three countries. I am confident that our experience and ability mean we will successfully deliver Hinkley Point C and subsequent projects. We are planning for a final investment decision within weeks so that we can move forward with construction.”
He Yu, Chairman of China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) said: “Entering the UK’s nuclear market marks a new phase for CGN. At the same time this is also a triple-win for the existing nuclear energy partnership between China, France and the UK. CGN is highly committed to delivering safe, cost efficient, and sustainable energy and to supporting the UK’s goal of becoming a low-carbon society.”
EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz 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. Today’s announcements are also good news in the fight against climate change”
EDF Group and CGN have been working as industrial partners for 30 years. This includes the joint venture between CGN and EDF Group to build two EPR reactors at Taishan. This is the same technology chosen for Hinkley Point C.
The UK will benefit from this long-standing co-operation and the extensive and proven capability of CGN in the construction and operation of nuclear plants. The Chinese investment will provide a boost to British jobs and industry, allowing British companies to work with experienced Chinese and French companies in a global new nuclear market.
Hinkley Point C agreements
The signing of the Strategic Investment Agreement coincides with the contracts between the UK Government and EDF for the Hinkley Point C project being in final agreed form. These include the “Contract for Difference” or “CfD” which sets a price for Hinkley Point C’s electricity of £92.50 per MWh (in 2012 money) for 35 years or £89.50 per MWh if a final investment decision is taken on Sizewell C.
The risk of constructing the power station to budget is borne by the investors and gainshare mechanisms mean that consumers will share the benefit if costs are less than expected.
The contract was approved by the European Commission in October 2014 following a 12 month investigation. The Commission concluded that the contract is an appropriate and proportionate way for the UK to meet its need for secure, low carbon energy.
The European Commission has also recently approved the UK’s waste transfer contract scheme, which will apply to Hinkley Point C. This innovative scheme means that the full costs of decommissioning and waste management associated with new nuclear power stations are set aside during generation and are included in the price of the electricity. edfenergy.com
The Hinkley Point C project
Hinkley Point C’s two EPR reactors will provide reliable, low carbon electricity to meet approximately 7% of the UK’s electricity needs and will be competitive with other forms of low carbon generation.
The Hinkley Point C project is well advanced. It has achieved planning consent, design approval for the EPR reactor and a nuclear site licence. There is a well-developed supply chain with identified preferred bidders who are already heavily involved in construction planning. Training for needed skills is underway and industrial agreements with trade unions are in place.
EDF Group will be the “responsible designer” for the Hinkley Point C project with a central role in the design and engineering of the power station at Hinkley Point C.
Total construction costs to first operation are forecast to be £18bn nominali. The construction costs have remained stable in real terms since they were announced in October 2013.
Final terms for contracts with a number of its key suppliers for Hinkley Point C have also been agreed.
Areva NP (Nuclear steam supply system, instrumentation and control)
Alstom France (turbines) and Alstom UK (services during operations)
Bouygues TP/Laing O’Rourke (main civil works)
BAM Nuttal/Kier Infrastructure (earthworks)
Work to enable the British supply chain to compete for contracts means that more than 60% of the project by value will be spent in the UK. The project will strengthen British industry, jobs and skills with 25,000 job opportunities during its construction.
First operation of Hinkley Point C is scheduled to be in 2025. EDF Energy’s current investment programme to safely extend the lives of its existing power stations contributes to maintaining a secure supply of low-carbon electricity prior to HPC coming on line.
The project is due to be equity funded by each partner, at least during a first stage. EDF will fully consolidate the project on its balance sheet.
The project will also benefit from the Government’s Infrastructure Guarantee Scheme. The initial £2bn of the scheme was announced by the Chancellor last month during his visit to China. edfenergy.com
EDF and CGN have signed the Heads of Terms of an agreement in principle to develop Sizewell C in Suffolk to a final investment decision with a view to build and operate two EPR reactors. During the development phase EDF Group will take an 80% share and CGN will take a 20% share.
As part of the planning process, EDF’s initial proposals for Sizewell C were published in November 2012 and the first round of formal consultation with local communities has already taken place.
EDF and CGN have signed the Heads of Terms of an agreement in principle to undertake the regulatory approval (Generic Design Assessment), with the UK nuclear safety regulator, of a UK version of the third generation Hualong 1,000MW reactor.
Under the terms of the agreement, a joint venture company will undertake and manage the Generic Design Assessment process. CGN is expected to take 66.5% share and EDF Group 33.5 %.
CGN and EDF have signed the Heads of Terms of an agreement in principle to develop Bradwell B in Essex to a final investment decision with a view to building and operating the UK Hualong reactor technology approved by the UK regulator through the GDA process. During the development phase CGN will take an 66.5 % share and EDF Group will take a 33.5% share.
The UK’s robust nuclear regulation ensures that all developers and operators must demonstrate that they meet strict compliance requirements for safety and security.
EDF Energy Tel: +44 (0) 1452 652 233
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959
About EDF Energy
EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to 6 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain. edfenergy.com
i Nominal costs, or current costs, refer to the costs expressed in the current money of the time they are incurred. They include the impact of the inflation in each year.
EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.
These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.
Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.
In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.
EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.
About China General Nuclear Power Corporation
China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) is a leading clean energy company, specialising in the production of nuclear energy, solar and wind power. CGN’s mission statement is to provide the world with cleaner, safer and more affordable energy.
The group is headquartered in Shenzhen, China. From its initial inception in 1985, CGN has continued to grow. CGN currently has 14 nuclear units in operation with a capacity of 14.92 GW- equal to 61% of China’s installed nuclear power. There are 12 units currently under construction by CGN with a capacity of 14.45 GW. CGN has an excellent safety record in nuclear power operation. The Ling Ao Unit 1 is rated the world’s safest reactor in its class, having run for 3,500 days with no safety-related reactor shutdown
In December 2014, CGN Power Co., Ltd. (1816:HK), CGN’s subsidiary for nuclear power generation was successfully listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.