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UK / New Consortium Calls For Approval Of Sizewell C

By David Dalton
14 July 2020

Companies say project will boost recovery and help meet net zero target
New Consortium Calls For Approval Of Sizewell C
A computer-generated image of the planned Sizewell C nuclear power station in England. Photo courtesy EDF Energy.
A new British industrial consortium formed by 32 companies is calling on the government to approve the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station, saying it will boost the country’s post Covid-19 recovery by injecting billions into the UK’s green economy and net zero ambition

France’s EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation are 80% and 20% shareholders in the project to build two Generation III EPR units on the Suffolk coast in southeast England. The cost of the project has been estimated at £18bn, although this has not been confirmed by either EDF or CGN.

The consortium believes Sizewell C will provide a major economic boost for the UK and set the country on the road to a green recovery. It said work could begin this year, involving contracts worth up to £300m, adding that it intends to sign agreements with UK regions to guarantee jobs and investment.

Up to 70% of contracts for Sizewell C will go to British-based businesses.

The consortium warned that without government backing for Sizewell C soon, thousands of these jobs will be lost, which would seriously undermine the UK’s nuclear delivery capability.

“A firm commitment on the future of Sizewell C will help sustain the nuclear supply chain and can deliver significant benefits to the UK’s low carbon economic prosperity,” Cameron Gilmour, spokesman for the Sizewell C Consortium, said in a statement.

In May, state-owned EDF submitted a planning application to build the two new EPR units at Sizewell C.

EDF, which is building two new EPRs at the Hinkley Point C station in Somerset, southwest England, has said it can significantly reduce the cost of Sizewell C, including by transferring workers and equipment between the two.

Sizewell C would be north of its sister plant Sizewell B on the Suffolk coast. EDF estimates the two Sizewell C units would take 10 to 12 years to build once it has planning permission.

The Sizewell C Consortium consists of 32 businesses and organisations, including construction company Laing O’Rourke, consultancy and construction firm Mace, nuclear services company Cavendish Nuclear, industry association East of EnglanUKd Energy Group and is backed by several trade unions.

Three unions that are part of the consortium – GMB, Prospect and Unite – said in a joint statement that if the government is serious about levelling up the regions and meeting net zero then it needs to support Sizewell C and the nuclear supply chain. “There are few infrastructure projects of this scale that are ready to go and which can provide an immediate Post Covid-19 boost for jobs locally and nationally, including up to 1,000 apprenticeships for young talent,” the statement said.

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