British energy company Centrica is contemplating an investment in the Sizewell C nuclear power plant, Bloomberg has reported.

The move could significantly impact the UK Government’s efforts to secure private investment for the project.

Centrica CEO Chris O’Shea discussed the potential investment during a press call following the company’s full-year financial results announcement.

The UK Government has been actively seeking to form an investment consortium to construct the Sizewell C plant.

Bloomberg quoted O’Shea as saying: “We could be interested in investing in that, but the risk and reward return has to be right.

“That is a possible future investment for Centrica, but it has to be on the right terms.”

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The 3.2GW nuclear facility is crucial to the UK’s strategy of increasing nuclear power capacity and achieving a zero-emissions power grid.

However, the challenges of developing new nuclear projects have been underscored by the rising costs and complexities involved.

The UK’s nuclear expansion includes two significant projects, Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C.

French energy company EDF recently updated the estimated cost for its Hinkley Point C project to £35bn, based on 2015 prices.

Similar expenditure is anticipated for Sizewell C, although EDF has indicated potential cost reductions by replicating Hinkley Point C’s processes.

In February 2024, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire expressed a desire that the UK should also bear a greater portion of the costs for new nuclear reactors, including those under construction by EDF Energy in the UK.

The projects have recently experienced cost overruns and delays, and EDF, which was recently nationalised by the French Government to alleviate its debts, is shouldering most of the financial burden.

The UK has narrowed the field of acceptable investors for critical infrastructure projects. In 2022, China General Nuclear Power Corp acquired a stake in Sizewell. The UK has now implemented stringent national security checks for any potential investors in the project.