UK government to help seek Moorside investment

02 December 2014

The UK government has signed a cooperation agreement with NuGen "to promote external financing" for the Moorside nuclear power plant in Cumbria.

The cooperation agreement establishes arrangements designed to enable access to the UK Guarantee Scheme, introduced in October 2012 to support infrastructure projects seeking finance and investment.

NuGen said it will work with HM Treasury "to see how the scheme can support arrangement of external project finance for Moorside, set to be the UK's largest new nuclear power station project."

UK Chancellor George Osborne said, "Investment in a new generation of civil nuclear power is part of our long-term economic plan to provide Britain with the energy it needs for decades to come." He added, "We've already done a lot to support new investment through our changes to the planning regime, the generic design approval process and reforms to the electricity market. The Guarantee Scheme is another way in which we can help companies to make the huge investment that building new nuclear power involves."

Keith Parker, chief executive of the UK's Nuclear Industry Association, said: "Today's announcement is excellent news and shows there is now unstoppable momentum behind the UK's nuclear new build program. The Guarantee Scheme designed to accelerate private sector investment is a crucial component of this project, and further reinforces nuclear as the lead technology in the UK's low carbon energy revolution."

NuGen - a 60%/40% joint venture between Toshiba and GDF Suez - plans to build three Westinghouse AP1000 pressurized water reactors at Moorside by the end of 2026 with a total capacity of 3.4 GWe. The first unit is expected to begin operating by the end of 2024. A final investment decision is expected to be taken by the end of 2018.

Moorside would be the first site in Europe to host the AP1000, eight of which are currently under construction in the USA and China. Already licensed by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the reactor must complete the final parts of generic design assessment by the UK's regulatory bodies.

A similar agreement was signed a year ago between HM Treasury and both Hitachi and Horizon Nuclear Power to promote financing for their proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News