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23rd March 2016
NuGen CEO, Tom Samson, gave a confident message of momentum when he took part in a Parliamentary evidence session – saying NuGen was maturing into a confident, independent nuclear new build developer.
He gave evidence to the Energy & Climate Change Committee enquiry into the delivery of UK New nuclear. NuGen was called to give evidence to a panel of MPs alongside EDF Energy, Horizon Nuclear Power, and the Chinese developer CGN who gave updates on their respective nuclear new build projects - including an update on progress - and discussed potential obstacles in delivering new nuclear power stations.
The backdrop of the session came with EDF Energy still to announce its final investment decision for the Hinkley Point C project.
Mr. Samson told the committee hearing about NuGen’s approach to progressing the project to a final investment decision by 2018, within the context of the UK facing a capacity crunch in the 2020s, as older nuclear power stations are retired and coal stations are shut down due to the Government’s internationally agreed climate commitments.
He reminded the committee that UK Government and industry expectations were for up to 18 gigawatts of new nuclear to come on stream through the mid-2020s – and that nuclear new build developers were responding to that challenge with multiple projects including, but not only limited to, Hinkley Point C.
“We have a deliverable technology for the UK. Our technology is proven around the world. It is the right technology, with the right team in the right location, NuGen‘s Moorside project will be the 17th, 18th and 19th AP1000® reactors deployed around the world. It is essential for the UK to have security of supply from a domestic source of nuclear power.”
Following the hearing Mr Samson said: “The UK Government has successfully attracted three significant consortia to these shores to develop new nuclear projects. All three have their differences. As for NuGen, we will continue to move forward with Moorside and we are focused on delivering a reliable and competitive form of base load carbon-free power by the mid-2020s”
“It is no secret that financing these internationally-significant projects, which have huge up-front costs, is a major challenge – it is complicated, but not impossible. The Contracts for Difference regime and access to UK Government loan guarantees are vital features of UK policy that supports towards new nuclear in attracting investors, and this in turn will result in developers building new nuclear power stations for the first time with a combination of both debt and equity.”
“We are working closely with Government to take Moorside forward, which will be Europe’s largest new nuclear power station. The project will be transformational – it will become the engine of the Northern Powerhouse.”
“Our proven AP1000 technology, and the ongoing construction programme of our fleet of reactors overseas, mitigates against many delivery risks – and we are confident we will deliver three reactors in West Cumbria, the UK’s centre of nuclear excellence, within the timeframe of Government expectations.”