The UK government has initiated the process for private investors to express their interest in the Sizewell C power station, a pivotal element of the nation’s nuclear renaissance. The Energy Security Secretary, Claire Coutinho, announced the commencement of the investment process, inviting potential partners to showcase their interest in the project. Sizewell C, anticipated to house two of the world’s most potent nuclear reactors, aims to provide low-carbon power to nearly 6 million homes for six decades, mitigating 9 million tonnes of carbon annually. The government’s commitment to the initiative is evident with a £700 million investment, marking the first direct public funding in a nuclear project in recent times. The project is also backed by EDF, the lead developer. All investments will undergo rigorous national security evaluations. The government’s broader vision includes revitalizing nuclear power, with plans to derive up to a quarter of the UK’s electricity from nuclear sources by 2050.

Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Claire Coutinho, said:

Investing in Sizewell C is an exciting opportunity to be a part of the UK’s nuclear revival – delivering clean, reliable, and affordable power for generations to come.

This project will create thousands of jobs, power 6 million homes and will boost our energy security.

We are focused on securing good value for taxpayers and look forward to seeing strong and competitive bids to be a part of this exciting project.

Sizewell C Company Joint Managing Director, Julia Pyke, said:

The launch of the formal equity raise opens another exciting phase for the project, following a positive response from investors during market testing.

Investors who participate in Sizewell C would be contributing to one of the biggest clean energy projects in the UK.  They should feel confident in our proposals as we are building a replica project with government backing, a mature reactor design and a workforce ready to build it.

We look forward to starting the main site construction and delivering this vital project which will reduce costs for consumers and help to create a future-proof low-carbon energy system for Britain.

The initial process launched today invites partners to complete a pre-qualification assessment. Companies will have to demonstrate that they meet the key criteria for entering negotiations on a potential equity stake in Sizewell C, including experience in delivering major infrastructure projects.

The process has been designed following market testing with a cross-section of partners.

While details of the investors who come forward and get involved cannot be provided at this stage given the need for commercial confidentiality, ministers will be looking for private investors who can add value to the project and will only accept private investment if it provides value for money, while bolstering energy security.

Minister for Nuclear and Networks, Andrew Bowie, said:

Sizewell C is at the heart of the UK’s nuclear revival and our ambition to provide up to a quarter of the UK’s electricity from homegrown nuclear energy by 2050.

This will provide reliable and abundant energy, boost economic growth and jobs across the country and underpin the UK’s path to Net Zero.

Following the first government direct public investment in a nuclear project for a generation, I look forward to seeing strong and competitive bids from potential investors to bring new expertise and experience into the company to help deliver this critical piece of national infrastructure.

CEO of EDF Energy, Simone Rossi, said:

EDF is pleased to support the development of the Sizewell C nuclear plant and the launch of this equity raise.

The very significant investment that EDF continues to make in Britain at Hinkley Point C benefits Sizewell C through replication of the design and construction, and a proven UK supply chain.

Together, Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will be the bedrock of Britain’s new nuclear fleet, a critical part of ensuring Britain has the clean, affordable energy it needs.

Alongside support for Sizewell C at Suffolk, and Hinkley Point C in Somerset, the government has also launched Great British Nuclear, which will further drive the UK’s nuclear revival through the development of new and emerging technologies.

This includes Small Modular Reactors, which can be constructed more quickly having been partially built in factories; and Advanced Modular Reactors, which are also smaller and can generate high temperatures which can help power industry.