Centrica uninterested in nuclear buy

Key Speakers At Ceraweek 2012

Centrica CEO Iain Conn was in Brussels yesterday to talk policy and field questions.

I asked him if he was interested to increase his company’s 20% stake in the UK’s eight remaining nuclear power plants, co-owned with EDF since 2009.

Since last year, the EDF Group has sought to raise cash from asset disposals in several locations including e.g. the UK by selling a further share of its main generation unit.

Essentially, Conn rejected the idea. He said he sees his company’s present 20% holding as being like an “annuity” in assets that were coming to their “end of life, closing in the next 10 to 20 years or so” adding “if anything we’re probably a seller … if the price is right.”

Responding to a seperate question on the Hinkley Point C nuclear new-build project, Conn said Centrica had spent “£321 million on its 20% share of project’s early development costs” before quitting in 2013, the year before the former BP executive joined the company.

In his speech Conn had said that Centrica was open to nuclear being part of the future energy mix in locations where there is government support. ❧

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