GDF Suez joins UK nuclear venture

6 February 2009

GDF Suez will hope to fulfil its ambition of building nuclear capacity in the UK through an industrial partnership with Iberdrola and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE).

The French utility has joined the recently-formed joint venture between Iberdrola of Spain and SSE to bid for nuclear sites being auctioned off by the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

GDF Suez and Iberdrola will each take a 40 per cent stake in the venture, with SSE taking the remaining 20 per cent. The NDA has initiated the sale of three sites around the UK, and is aiming to announce the winning bidders by the end of March.

SSE and Iberdrola-owned ScottishPower announced in January their intention to participate in the UK’s nuclear revival, which aims to bring new capacity on-line by 2020. The two firms have indicated that they will not be bound to any one vendor.

German companies E.On and RWE have also joined forces to build new nuclear power plants in the UK. EDF and its recently-acquired subsidiary British Energy are considered the front-runners in the nuclear build programme, the policy impetus for which was launched by the government last year.

EDF is planning to build four EPR nuclear power plants in the UK, while RWE and E.On say they want to build at least 6 GW of new capacity.

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