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
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones