The UK Government announced on Monday the opening of a private investment round for the development of its Sizewell C nuclear power station as costs for the project continue to rise.
In a press statement, Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho confirmed the opening of applications for partners to register their interest in being part of the project, adding that any investment application will be subject to strict national security checks.
The Sizewell C power station, due to be built in Suffolk, UK, is a joint venture between the UK Government, the Sizewell C Company and French nuclear giant EDF, which is also the project’s lead developer.
The power plant is set to house two nuclear reactors and will generate approximately 3.2GW of electricity for 60 years. It is part of the country’s push to revive its dwindling nuclear industry, which remains a key pillar in its net-zero plans, despite opposition from various campaign groups that do not consider nuclear a source of clean energy.
Sizewell C Company joint managing director Julia Pyke said: “The launch of the formal equity raise opens another exciting phase for the project, following a positive response from investors during market testing.
“Investors who participate in Sizewell C would be contributing to one of the biggest clean energy projects in the UK. They should feel confident in our proposals as we are building a replica project with government backing, a mature reactor design and a workforce ready to build it.”
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To date, the government has poured £700m ($868.13m) into the project, a sum that has built up with sporadic investment announcements as costs continue to rise beyond initial estimates. In May last year, one month before ministers were due to vote on the project’s approval, the Guardian reported that Sizewell C could cost UK taxpayers “more than double” government estimates and take an additional five years to build.
The UK’s other flagship nuclear project, Hinkley Point C, now deep into construction, has also faced criticism for its decades-long delays and soaring costs.