Sizewell C Consortium signs MoU on investment potential

24 March 2021

The proposed Sizewell C (SZC) nuclear power project could lead to an investment of GBP4.4 billion (USD6.0 billion) in the East of England, according to a Memorandum of Understanding announced today by the Sizewell C Consortium, which represents more than 200 UK-based companies and organisations.

The Sizewell C project design (Image: EDF)

The government is in talks with French-owned EDF on the project, which would build two EPRs in Suffolk as a 'replica' of the Hinkley Point C plant under construction in Somerset. Announcing the intention to hold these talks, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said last December that the government is considering options to enable investment in "at least one" nuclear power plant by the end of this Parliament, in 2024.

The MoU, signed between the Sizewell C Consortium and "a number of" Members of Parliament, business groups, businesses and educational institutes in the East of England, outlines the potential investment for the region during the construction phase of the project, which is expected to last between 9-12 years.

Cameron Gilmour, spokesperson for the Sizewell C Consortium, said the project will help ensure that the East of England is "not left behind" in the green recovery from the pandemic. "For these benefits to be realised, we need a firm commitment to getting Sizewell C built by working closely with government and consulting with local stakeholders to secure approval for the project," he said.

The consortium commissioned research by Ernst and Young, which highlights that 73,000 direct jobs would be created in the supply chain, or through local spending on goods and services. Of these, 35,000 would be in Suffolk.

"Local people must have the opportunity to acquire skills, to work on the construction of the nuclear power station and then to either work there once it has been commissioned or to transfer their skills to other sectors. This can make our area a compelling location in which to set up and grow businesses," Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, said.

Sizewell C would also partner with the newly announced 'freeport' of Felixstowe and Harwich, to create a hydrogen hub. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak confirmed they had been granted freeport status when he delivered his Budget earlier this month. Freeports allow business to be carried out inside a country's land border but where different customs rules apply, and Sunak described them as "special economic zones".

NNB GenCo (SZC Co) is exploring how SZC could be part of a wider hub of low-carbon energy technologies - the Energy Hub - which it says could support the UK government’s binding target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News