Iberdrola: no UK nuclear decision until “clear framework”

Iberdrola’s chief today said it won’t make a decision on investing in the UK until there is a “clear framework” for a return on investment. The Spanish owner of ScottishPower […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Iberdrola’s chief today said it won’t make a decision on investing in the UK until there is a “clear framework” for a return on investment.

The Spanish owner of ScottishPower is involved in NuGen, a joint venture with GDF Suez which plans to build a nuclear plant in Cumbria next to Sellafield.

Jose Ignacio Sanchez Galan, Iberdrola’s CEO said his firm “won’t make any decisions regarding our nuclear plant in the UK until there is a clear framework for returns”, according to the firm’s twitter feed.

Mr Galan spoke as his firm today announced earnings of €1,801 million in 2011 up to June despite a sharp drop in profits in its home country.

The comments reinforce the idea that Britain’s nuclear future rests on the outcome of the Energy Bill, a key part of which is the Contracts for Difference mechanism. Experts say this will dictate whether investors think they’ll get a good enough rate of return for building in the UK.

Mr Galan’s comments echo rival investor in the UK’s nuclear industry, EDF Energy, with the French supplier’s boss making clear its plans for another reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset depend on the Energy Bill.