Centrica have announced they are pulling out of building any new power stations in the UK. This means that they will not take up the 20% stake in any new nuclear ventures with EDF Energy which include the proposals at Hinkley Point and Sizewell.
The Chief Executive of Centrica, Sam Laidlaw said that the lengthening time frame for construction of the 4 reactors together with the agreed limit of £1 billion growing closer, meant that they felt participation was not right for Centrica and their shareholders.
Having taken the decision not to proceed with the new nuclear investment, Centrica will launch a £500 million share repurchase programme, to return surplus capital to shareholders, which will be conducted over the next 12 months.
Centrica’s exit clears the way for China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Company (CGNPC) to invest in the new generation of nuclear plant in the UK alongside EDF Energy.
Centrica’s interest in the existing 8 nuclear power stations in the UK remains unaffected.