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Report: EDF seeks funding for Sizewell nuclear project in UK

Electricité de France SA is looking for funding for its Sizewell C nuclear project in the U.K. and tapped Rothschild as its financial adviser in the matter, The Times reported Jan. 13.

Mounting construction costs at the project are hindering its completion, but the French government-owned utility said it can keep going through economies of scale. EDF is also developing the Hinkley Point C nuclear project in the U.K. and said it can manage certain construction costs by sharing equipment and labor at the two sites.

However, EDF's project development director at Sizewell, Jim Crawford, said in a community town hall that if the funding proposals fall out of a certain range, the project could be terminated. Crawford has since retired, The Times reported.

Hinkley Point C is not out of the woods itself. Its construction costs have risen between £21.5 billion and £22.5 billion, from the initially approved price tag of £18 billion. EDF said Sizewell C's construction cost could be nearly 20% lower than Hinkley Point C.

For Sizewell, EDF has proposed a funding mechanism under which customers will foot the bill for construction, but that proposal is still pending the U.K. government's approval. It may cut borrowings but will have customers pay for cost overruns.

Each of the two new plants is planned with a capacity of 3,200 MW.