Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, David Hall, has welcomed today’s announcement from EDF Energy, as a clear commitment to taking Hinkley Point C project forward.
EDF Energy and its Chinese partner China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) are today due to sign a Strategic Investment Agreement which marks a critical moment for the site in Somerset. Today’s announcement as part of this week’s landmark China State Visit demonstrates a clear intent from both parties to deliver the first new nuclear power station in the UK for a generation.
Cllr Hall, who is also Cabinet member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy, was delighted by today’s announcement.
“We are massively encouraged by what we see today,” he said. “It’s a clear commitment from both parties to move this £18bn once in a generation opportunity forward.
“We have worked closely with Government, educational and private businesses locally, regionally and nationally to get to this point and we are looking forward to the lasting legacy the development is set to bring.
“The development presents a massive opportunity for Somerset and the South West region. Hinkley Point C is expected to provide 25,000 jobs during construction 900 jobs in its planned 60 year operating life with at least 5,000 people from Somerset expected to work directly on the project – an immeasurable benefit for the local economy.”
He added: “Hinkley Point C looks set to kick start the national nuclear renaissance and will be the catalyst for economic growth in Somerset and the wider South West region.”
Under the Strategic Investment Agreement, EDF Energy share in Hinkley Point C will be 66.5% and CGN’s will be 33.5%. Without reducing this initial stake below 50%, EDF Energy intends in due course to bring other investors into the
Somerset County Council now awaits finalisation of detailed agreements between EDF Energy and Chinese investors.
Officers will work closely with EDF Energy over the coming weeks and months to establish what this means in the context of their construction programme.