UK agrees finance guarantee deal to help build new nuclear plant

UK agrees finance guarantee deal to help build new nuclear plant
A file photo showing the largest nuclear complex in Europe, Sellafield nuclear plant in North England.

LONDON - Britain said on Tuesday it had agreed a preliminary deal to provide a financial guarantee to help fund the development of Europe's largest nuclear power project, in northwest England.

The 3.4 gigawatt Moorside project, a joint-venture between Japan's Toshiba and France's GDF Suez, could provide nearly 7 per cent of Britain's projected electricity needs and create up to 21,000 jobs, the companies say.

News of the agreement was contained in a finance ministry document listing infrastructure announcements due to be fleshed out later on Tuesday as part of an update to the government's infrastructure spending plans.

The document said the government would announce "A cooperation agreement with Toshiba, GDF Suez and NuGen (the joint-venture) to provide a guarantee to assist the financing of a new nuclear power plant at Moorside."

The finance ministry did not provide further details ahead of the release of the full infrastructure spending plan.

Britain is counting on replacing its ageing fleet of nuclear reactors with new stations. The government is already providing loan guarantees to France's EDF for a 16 billion-pound (S$32.8 billion) nuclear plant due to be built in southern England.

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