Sunday 23 June 2019 10:52 pm

EDF seeks guarantee for nuclear project 

French energy giant EDF wants a government guarantee of help if a £20bn nuclear power station runs over budget.

The firm is telling potential investors in its Sizewell C plant that it wants ministers to step in with a guarantee on the project, the Sunday Times reported.

Read more: Government headache as Hitachi pulls out of Wylfa nuclear plant

It says it wants a deal comparable to the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

The government has promised to cover any additional funding if the sewer project’s costs overrun by more than 30 per cent.

It is part of the regulated asset base model, used in the water industry.

If adopted for Sizewell, the model could add around £6 to households’ annual energy bills, the paper reported.

However, EDF argues that by reducing the risk to private investors, the guarantee would be more likely to cut consumer bills as the cost of financing drops.

Meanwhile, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said it will assess if the model offers value for money.

The government has been left re-assessing its nuclear strategy after two major projects collapsed.

In January the business department reiterated its commitment to nuclear power after Hitachi pulled out of the £16bn Wylfa project.

Read more: Toshiba withdraws from UK nuclear power station

“We are also reviewing alternative funding models for future nuclear projects,” a spokesperson said at the time. It expects to report on its findings this summer.

It came just two months after Toshiba said it was pulling out of its nuclear power project in Cumbria.