July 14, 2020 / 10:08 AM / 24 days ago

UK government urged to commit to nuclear project to help supply chain

LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) - Britain should commit to building the Sizewell C nuclear power station being planned by French and Chinese investors to help safeguard supply chain jobs, a newly formed industrial consortium says.

France's EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) IPO-CGNP.HK are 80% and 20% shareholders in the pre-construction phase of the project, which is expected to cost 18 billion pounds ($21-22.5 billion).

EDF submitted an application in May to British regulators to build the plant in East Suffolk on England's east coast.

"A firm commitment on the future of Sizewell C will help sustain the nuclear supply chain and can deliver significant benefits to the UK's low carbon economic prosperity," Cameron Gilmour, spokesman for the Sizewell C Consortium, said in a statement.

The consortium said work could begin this year, involving contracts worth up to 300 million pounds, adding that it intends to sign memorandums of understanding with UK regions to guarantee jobs and investment.

"Up to 70% of contracts for Sizewell C will go to British-based businesses," the statement said.

Sizewell C is expected to provide 3.2 gigawatts of energy, enough to power 6 million homes.

The government is considering new funding models for nuclear projects, which will determine the future ownership structure for the construction and operation phases.

The Sizewell C Consortium consists of 32 businesses and organisations, including construction company Laing O'Rourke, consultancy and construction firm Mace, nuclear services company Cavendish Nuclear, industry association East of England Energy Group and is backed by several trade unions, it said.

$1 = 0.7995 pounds Reporting by Ekaterina Kravtsova; editing by Jason Neely

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