National Grid to spend £1 billion connecting Hinkley Point C
The firm calculates it will take five to six years to link up the proposed 3GW plant, which is due to start generating in 2023 and has an estimated price tag of £16 billion.
For the first time the new ‘T-pylon’ (pictured) will be available for use on the project. National Grid said it would also use ‘undergrounding’ and other methods to keep the visual impact to a minimum.
Source: Energy Live News
Chinese Firms, Westinghouse Headed Toward More Nuclear Supply Chain Cooperation and Joint Projects
The Financial Times and other outlets also quoted Moniz as saying Westinghouse, SNPTC and China National Nuclear Corp. might bid on a project to build new reactors in Britain. The companies would likely compete with EDF and China General Nuclear Power, which recently reached an agreement to build new units at Hinkley Point.
Moniz’s visit coincided with the start of construction at the Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security, a joint project by the Chinese government and the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration to help train operators to safely run China’s new nuclear plants. The country has some 30 reactors under construction. Among them are the world’s first Westinghouse AP1000 units. Moniz said the AP1000s under construction at Plant Vogtle and V.C. Summer and those in China use technology that is “fundamentally the same,” and their supply chains will be implemented in both countries.
Strike price deal for Hinkley Point C
EDF has concluded negotiations with government on the strike price for electricity generated by Hinkley Point C. The financing system will be put to the European Commission this week, said government.
The team in place to build and operate two new EPR units at Hinkley Point C in Britain’s county of Somerset will be led by EDF Group with a 45-50% stake. It has letters of intent with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) to take 30-40% between them, while reactor designer Areva will take 10% and EDF continues talks with other “interested parties” regarding a potential stake of 15%.
This consortium became possible after EDF and the UK government concluded negotiations on the contract for difference scheme that will be used to give a fixed income from the power supplied by the new power station. A price of £92.50 per MWh was agreed as the strike price for the project, meaning the government will top up EDF’s income to this level if wholesale prices are lower. EDF will have to pay back to government if market prices are higher. The figure would be changed to £89.50 per MWh if EDF goes ahead with its second nuclear project, two further EPRs at Sizewell C.
The arrangement is slated to run for 35 years from 2023, or the start of operation of each reactor, whichever comes sooner. It includes protection for the investors against political risks in the form of potential “nuclear taxes, uranium and generation taxes” politically motivated shutdowns or the revision of the CfD scheme. Overall, EDF said the strike price should give about a 10% return on investment.
A press conference in London today saw energy secretary Ed Davey explain that construction risk lies with EDF and its partners. They will not receive any money through the CfD until they produce some electricity, and if this comes later than 2023 the impact will hit the project investors instead of electricity consumers. Conversely, the deal was said to include clauses that recoup money for UK consumers if EDF is able to construct the units faster than expected.
Site preparations are well advanced at Hinkley, while the EPR design has approval from the Office of Nuclear Regulation and planning permission was granted in March. However, EDF and its partners will not make a final investment decision until the CfD deal with government is approved by the European Commission (EC) under state aid rules. Davey said that the UK was already in talks with the EC and would formally submit its plans this week.
“We are confident we can argue our case,” said Davey, “because we have had this in the back of our minds all the time.” He noted that state aid rules apply to the general topic of state intervention, rather than just issues of subsidy. The CfD, he said, is consistent with the policy of offering no advantage to new nuclear that is not also offered to other low-carbon forms of generation. By creating what he called a unique market for low carbon power, Davey said the UK was giving investors “longer visibility on low-carbon than any other country in the world.”
The Hinkley Point C consortium brings together global experience in building Areva EPRs, including the designer itself. Areva has led construction of the first unit, Olkiluoto 3, while EDF has been building Flamanville 3. In China, EDF and CGN have worked together in a joint venture to construct Taishan 1 and 2 and achieved faster progress than the European units.
Source: Your Industry News
Osborne agrees to China investing in UK nuclear plants
The Chancellor, George Osborne, has announced that the UK will allow Chinese companies to take a stake in British nuclear power plants.
The decision could lead to China taking a future majority stake in the development of the next generation of British nuclear power.
Mr Osborne made the announcement on the last day of a trade visit to China.
The first China deal could be as early as next week, with the go ahead for a new £14bn plant at the Hinkley C site.
Also on Thursday, a report commissioned for the prime minister warned of a growing risk of power shortages over the next few years.
The Royal Academy of Engineering said the closure of older power plants and the slow progress in building news ones was likely to stretch the system “close to its limits”.
Supply is expected to come under strain in the winter of 2014-15.
The Hinkley C project, in Somerset, will be the first new nuclear power station since 1995.
The construction will be led by the French state-controlled giant, EDF, which has been looking for a partner or partners to share the costs.
EDF has been negotiating with three Chinese nuclear giants on the Hinkley C project, CGN, CNNC and SNPTC, all of which have been seen by the chancellor this week.
Our business editor, Robert Peston, says he has been told that one or two of these will end up owning perhaps 30% of Hinkley C.
In future, Chinese companies could have even higher stakes in nuclear plants.
A government statement says that “over time, stakes in subsequent new power stations could be majority stakes”.
At the weekend, the Energy Minister, Ed Davey, said he believed that a “massive” wave of investment from China, Japan and Korea would secure UK’s power supply into the future.
Mr Osborne made the announcement while on a visit to a nuclear plant in southern China on Thursday which is itself a collaboration between EDF and the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG).
George Osborne said: “Today is another demonstration of the next big step in the relationship between Britain and China, the world’s oldest civil nuclear power and the world’s fastest growing civil nuclear power.”
The memorandum of understanding also includes roles for British companies in China’s nuclear programme.
China has 17 nuclear reactors in operation, which provide about 1% of its electricity production capacity.
Source: BBC News
Davey hints China to help fund Hinkley nuclear plant
In a television interview yesterday he said the Government is “extremely close” to a deal with EDF and also talked up trade links with China.
The comments appear to support reports Chinese General Nuclear Power Group (CGNP) could take a 49% stake in the project at Hinkley Point C.
The Energy Secretary said: “It is really possible we will see massive Chinese investment, not just in nuclear but across the board.”
Asked about a recent visit to China, he says he “saw all their nuclear companies, I talked to their government about Britain’s nuclear power and opportunities for British nuclear companies in China – and the Chinese, along with the Japanese and Koreans and other countries, are very interested in the opportunity in Britain’s nuclear sector.”
Read the full article here http://www.energylivenews.com/2013/10/14/davey-hints-china-to-help-fund-hinkley-nuclear-plant/
Source: Energy Live News