EDF to acquire British Energy Group

French energy company EDF has agreed to buy British Energy Group, the company which runs eight of the UK’s nuclear power stations, in a deal worth £12.5bn.

After completion of the acquisition, British Gas owner Centrica has announced it plans to buy a 25 per cent interest in EDF’s acquiring subsidiary. This would entitle Centrica to 25 per cent of power generated by the facilities and a 25 per cent interest in all new nuclear build.

EDF said the acquisition is aligned with its vision to be ‘the European leader of tomorrow’s energies and to bring sustainable energy solutions home to everyone.’

The government has welcomed the offer, which will include selling its 36 per cent stake in British Energy held by the Nuclear Liabilities Fund.

Gordon Brown said of the purchase: ‘New nuclear is becoming a reality. This deal is good value for the taxpayer and a significant step towards the construction of a new generation of nuclear stations to power the country. Nuclear is clean, secure and affordable; its expansion is crucial for Britain‘s long term energy security, as we reduce our oil dependence and move towards a low carbon future.’

As well as continuing to operate British Energy’s existing nuclear power stations, EDF has proposed building four new reactors – two each at Hinkley and two at Sizewell – with total generating capacity of 6.4GW. The company said its first new reactor could be operational by the end of 2017.

The government said it is wants to make sites available to at least one other operator through an agreement that EDF would sell land to other potential nuclear operators under certain conditions. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority also intends to offer for sale some sites it owns that could be suitable for new nuclear build.

Homepage picture credit: British Energy Group Plc