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Government signs Hinkley contracts

30 Sep 16 The government has now formally signed contracts with Électricité de France (EDF) and China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) for the £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

The signing ceremony
The signing ceremony

At a ceremony in London on 29th September 2016, documents were signed by UK secretary of state for business, energy & industrial strategy Greg Clark, EDF chairman & chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy and CGN chairman He Yu.

They signed the contract for difference, which guarantees the above-market rate at which the UK government will purchase electricity generated by the plant, and the secretary of state investor agreement, which gives the UK government control over future ownership transactions.

The contracts also enable the development of new nuclear power stations at Sizewell B in Suffolk and Bradwell B in Essex.

EDF said that the event marked the end of the project’s development phase following years of preparation and planning. Chairman Jean-Bernard Levy said: “Contracts signed today with the British government and with our historic partner CGN are the result of years of hard work of the teams which have brought us to this point. The project is of strategic importance for EDF Group and the nuclear industry. All of the employees of EDF Group around the world can be proud of the progress we have made. Now the next phase is underway. EDF, its partners and suppliers are ready and dedicated to the successful construction of Hinkley Point C.” 

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EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz said: “Hinkley Point C will kickstart Britain’s nuclear revival. It has overcome obstacles and challenges which will benefit our next nuclear projects in Britain. This huge investment has been made possible by the consistent policies of successive Governments to provide secure, affordable, low carbon electricity. I want to thank our team, our suppliers, trade unions and the people of Somerset for their dedication, determination and patience. Their support has been vital to our success.”

The signing comes a couple of months later than expected, following a surprise intervention by prime minister Theresa May, whose decision to review and sometimes overturn key planks of the former Cameron regime has only added to all the uncertainty surround the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Among all this political uncertainty, we are still waiting to see, for example, what the Maybies (©PB) will decide on southern England airport expansion plans, although the Cameroons struggled with that one too.

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