Banks court buyers for 49% stake in UK nuclear power stations. EDF Energy thought to have piggybacked on plans by Centrica to sell off some of nuclear power stake. Three international banks have begun courting buyers for a 49% stake in Britain’s eight nuclear power stations, starting the process of a major shakeup of the sector’s ownership. UK-listed Centrica said in February it was looking to sell its 20% stake in the nuclear plants, which UBS and Goldman Sachs are understood to be handling. Industry watchers have speculated that majority owner EDF Energy, which is shouldering the huge financial burden of building Hinkley Point C in Somerset, also wanted to sell some of its stake. The company, represented by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, is understood to have piggybacked on the sale after the British Gas-owner, Centrica, announced its plans. The pool of possible buyers is a relatively small one, as private investors have generally steered clear of nuclear. Aside from China, Japanese and South Korean nuclear firms could also be in the frame. Russia is another major nuclear power player, but ownership of UK plants would be politically unacceptable.
Guardian 9th July 2018 read more »
French state-controlled utility EDF (EDF.PA) declined to comment on whether it would be willing to sell part of its 80 percent stake in Britain’s nuclear plants, following a UK newspaper report about Chinese interest in buying a large minority stake.
Reuters 9th July 2018 read more »
The possible replacement of the U.K.’s aging nuclear reactor fleet may offer China’s ambitious atomic power companies an outlet for investment and technology. That could be the driver behind reports over the weekend by the London-based Sunday Times that state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corp. “made an approach” about acquiring as much as 49 percent in eight U.K. nuclear power plants owned by Electricite de France SA and Centrica Plc., without saying where it obtained the information. The stake is valued at as much as 4 billion pounds ($5.3 billion), according to the report.
Bloomberg 9th July 2018 read more »
Power Technology 9th July 2018 read more »
In response to the National Infrastructure Committee’s Assessment, published on Tuesday, Kate Blagojevic, Head of Energy for Greenpeace UK, said – “The standard explanation for favouring nuclear power over cheaper, safer, renewable sources is that nuclear provides continuous, reliable power. This is both inaccurate, as even a small accident can close a reactor for months, and irrelevant, as ‘baseload’ power is only a requirement for the 20th century grid which we are leaving behind. The NIC’s recommendations would force the government’s energy policy into the 21st century, finally recognising the economic and environmental logic of backing cheap renewable energy to keep the lights on and bills and carbon emissions down. We hope the government will listen to the experts so that Britain can have an energy system fit for the future, and be the international climate leader we claim to be.”
Greenpeace 10th July 2018 read more »