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EDF submits application to build 3.2 GW Sizewell C nuclear plant in UK

Highlights

DCO application submitted to Planning Inspectorate

25,000 jobs during construction, 900 for operation

Project aims to be majority-owned by UK investors

London — EDF Energy has submitted an application to the UK's Planning Inspectorate to build two 1.6 GW nuclear reactors at its Sizewell site in Suffolk, it said Wednesday.

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If approved, the two EPR units could supply well over 20 TWh/year of "low carbon electricity made in the UK," EDF Energy said, reducing the need for energy imports into Great Britain.

The Development Consent Order (DCO) application had been deferred for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, with extra measures put in place to make it easier for local communities to study the proposals once published, the developer said.

According to EDF Energy, the project would provide around 25,000 jobs and 1,000 apprenticeships during construction, and employ 900 skilled staff once operational.

Up to 70% of the construction value would be spent with firms across the UK, while the project aims to be majority-owned by UK investors, EDF Energy said, without providing project costs or timelines.

It noted, however, that in 2019 the government said a proposed Regulated Asset Base support mechanism had the potential to reduce the cost of raising private finance.

A RAB model has yet to be formally proposed to replace the existing Contracts for Difference model, under which Hinkley Point C was financed.

Sizewell C would be a near replica of Hinkley Point C in Somerset, currently under construction for a 2025 start, EDF Energy said.

"Using the same design means Sizewell C will benefit from significantly reduced construction costs and lower risk. Innovative financing has the potential to reduce costs even further," the company said.

"On top of the economic benefits, Sizewell C will avoid 9 million mt of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere each year," project director Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson said.

Construction at Sizewell C could start after the dome lift at Hinkley Point C is completed (planned for 2021), Cadoux-Hudson said at an industry conference in June last year.

The application for a DCO follows four rounds of public consultation which began in 2012.