Strike price is bargain for Britain says EDF group CEO

The “strike price” payment for Britain’s new nuclear power station is a bargain, the chief executive of the company set to build Hinkley Point C suggested today. This morning the […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The “strike price” payment for Britain’s new nuclear power station is a bargain, the chief executive of the company set to build Hinkley Point C suggested today.

This morning the Government and EDF shook hands on a guaranteed price for power from the plant.

At £92.50 – possibly dropping to £89.50 under the condition EDF builds another nuclear plant – this Hinkley “strike price” has been criticised by some for being roughly twice the price of current wholesale market prices.

However Henri Proglio (pictured), CEO and Chairman of EDF Group suggested it could end up as better value than market prices in future.

He told ELN: “We are considering the price of energy in a long period of time. It’s from 2023 up to 2058 so the question is, what will be the price of energy at that time?

“Considering the price of energy and electricity over the years to come, is that probably this strike price will be below the expected price of energy in this long period of time.”

Asked whether the Government’s guarantee for the plant was generous, said: “Generous? Generous is not the right term. The guarantee is very positive for both the Government and ourselves because it decreases the level of cost of debt… and we share the benefits.”

The EDF boss also revealed China’s nuclear companies have been eyeing up the UK’s new nuclear sector for at least 18 months.

Although the revelation two Chinese firms are looking to take stakes in Hinkley Point C came in the last fortnight it seems they have been sussing it out for much longer.

The firm’s long-standing partners in China – CGN and CNNC which it has worked with for 30 years – could take as much as 30-40% of the project between them. EDF will hold 45-50% and Areva 10%.