Nuclear Finance Revamp Will Attract U.K. Pension Funds, EDF Says
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K.’s proposed overhaul of the financing mechanism for nuclear power plants will attract more local investors, making the government less dependent on Chinese money for infrastructure projects, said the developer of the 20 billion-pound ($26.9 billion) Sizewell C project.
A bill passing through parliament implements the regulated asset base, or RAB, model to encourage private-sector investment in nuclear power and dilute the construction risk shouldered by U.K. taxpayers and developers. A key element is the link to the Consumer Price Index, thus making it an attractive investment for U.K. pension funds, according to Electricite de France SA.
“I’m confident that the RAB model will bring forward a lot more U.K. investment and reduce our reliance on overseas investors,” Sizewell C’s director of financing, Julia Pyke, told lawmakers Tuesday.
The government is seeking to remove state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corp. from all future projects in Britain, Bloomberg reported in July. Sizewell’s majority partner, EDF, is in financing talks with officials on options that may now exclude CGN, which owns a 20% stake in the power station.
EDF has said the proposed plant in eastern England is viable without Chinese funding.
The U.K. says its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions will be hard to reach without nuclear energy, but plants are expensive and take years to build. The government committed in December to financing at least one large-scale nuclear project by 2025, and it pledged 1.7 billion pounds for that in the budget released last month.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.