Government nets £387m as nuclear auction ends

The auction of sites for new nuclear power stations finally closed yesterday, netting the Government £387m and bringing a consortium of RWE npower and E.ON into the UK sector for the first time.

Two of the three sites owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) – at Wylfa in Anglesey and Oldbury in Gloucestershire – were bought by the German group. The remaining land, at Bradwell in Essex, was bought by the French company EDF.

Bidding for the three sites only ended after a third consortium of Scottish and Southern Energy, Iberdrola and Suez pulled out on Monday night. The auction had been expected to last little more than a week and raise not much more than £100m. But fierce competition ran on for more than six weeks and more than tripled the final bill.

The Iberdrola group blamed its withdrawal on the sky-high prices after bidding for Bradwell reached £160m, more than four times the original estimate. Wylfa, always expected to be the most expensive, is understood to have raised more than £200m.

The energy companies laid out their stalls in advance. RWE bought land and organised a National Grid connection alongside Wylfa, and E.ON bought land at Oldbury. EDF already owned a piece of land right in the middle of the Bradwell site, through its £12.5bn purchase of British Energy last autumn.

But all is not over for putative nuclear builders. The NDA will start the process to auction another site, at Sellafield, within weeks. And despite its successes yesterday with Bradwell, EDF may yet put the land back on the market. The French giant is planning to build two nuclear stations by 2025, one at Hinkley Point in Somerset, and one at Sizewell in Suffolk. Bradwell was an insurance policy against hold-ups in the planning process and, if developments progress as planned, it is likely to be sold. EDF is also to put land at either Heysham or Dungeness up for sale.

Ed Miliband, the Energy Secretary, said: "The successful outcome of this site auction is yet more evidence of major energy players gearing up for investment in low carbon energy in the UK."

The NDA will use the proceeds from the sales to help fund the cost of decommissioning.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Guru Careers: Management Accountant

£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power