British Energy

For sale: Scots atomic pride

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Back in 2002, British Energy, the largest power generator in the UK, hosted a Burns Night dinner. Appropriately for a company fiercely proud of its Scottish roots, it was held at the historic Caledonian Club close to Hyde Park Corner in London. Its then chief executive, Robin Jeffrey, wore a kilt, as did many other employees, along with supportive Scottish politicians who attended. In keeping with tradition, diners stood to attention as the cook, accompanied by a bagpiper, brought in the haggis on a large dish. Jeffrey, himself a Scotsman, led the toasts, even reciting a witty ditty - witty to the audience, anyway - asking the government for a larger subsidy.

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UK government seeks power sale

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Britain’s leading energy suppliers have been approached by government advisers to sound out interest in its 35.2 per cent stake in British Energy, which is valued at £2bn-plus.

The government has mandated UBS to help with a potential sale process, while British Energy has appointed NM Rothschild as its adviser. Eon and RWE of Germany, Électricité de France, Iberdrola of Spain and Centrica of the UK have all been asked if they would be interested in acquiring part of the stake, people close to the situation said.

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British Energy to benefit from nuclear revival

Friday, March 7, 2008

As the government makes ever more enthusiastic pronouncements about new nuclear reactors for the UK, the outlook is brightening for British Energy, which owns the bulk of the country’s nuclear plants.

On Thursday, John Hutton, the business secretary, revealed in the Financial Times that the government would pull out all the stops to maximise expansion of nuclear power and would drop its previous commitment to holding a minimum 29.9 per cent stake in British Energy.

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Britain seeks investors to back new nuclear power plants

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The UK is committed to a dramatic and rapid expansion of nuclear power, ensuring new stations generate "significantly" more of the country's electricity than the existing stock, according to John Hutton, the business secretary.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Hutton also dropped the UK government's previous commitment to maintaining a minimum 29.9 per cent stake in British Energy, the nuclear generator.

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New nuclear sites for Britain

Sunday, March 2, 2008

POWER companies are to be offered a new range of potential sites to construct nuclear power stations in Britain.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), a government agency in charge of the £70 billion-plus clean-up of the UK atomic legacy, is expected to open talks shortly.

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Meetings on nuclear debate

Monday, February 25, 2008

The public will get the chance to hear the outline proposals for new nuclear power stations at Sizewell and Bradwell next month.

British Energy is arranging public meetings “to keep people informed on the decision-making process and to hear views on the impact this may have on the area”.

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Companies to foot nuclear clean-up bill

Friday, February 22, 2008

Companies building nuclear reactors in the UK will have to meet the full cost of their future closure and clean-up, setting money aside from day one, the government will say on Friday.

Following on from last month’s white paper on nuclear power, the government will on Friday set out the draft framework for how the decommissioning of new nuclear reactors would be paid for.

Several companies, including British Energy, EDF, Eon, RWE and Centrica, are looking at building reactors but have said they want more certainty on a range of issues before they are ready to invest, including decommissioning costs and the disposal of radioactive waste.

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Government to examine nuclear competition issue

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Government is concerned that a lack of competition in the UK nuclear industry threatens to distort decision-making in the race to build a new generation of nuclear power plants.

In an interview with The Times, Malcolm Wicks, the Energy Minister, said the Government would look critically at British Energy’s ownership of eight of the most attractive UK sites for new reactors. “We want to see proper competition here,” he said. “We don’t want to see some sort of cagey deal between one company and another company . . . We have got to facilitate proper competition.”

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British Energy's Torness reactor closure unplanned

Thursday, February 21, 2008

LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - British Energy's Torness-2 nuclear power reactor stopped just after midnight on Thursday and the shutdown was unplanned, a spokeswoman for the company said.

"We are working on the restart plan," she said on Thursday. "But we will do some additional maintenance work while the unit is off."

She would not say what had caused the 625-MW reactor, one of two at the power plant in Scotland, to stop. (Reporting by Daniel Fineren)

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UK nuclear power

Friday, February 15, 2008

Recent rumours of a takeover or break-up of British Energy are exaggerated.

The UK nuclear generator, with an enterprise value of £5bn, is still in effect controlled by the government. In return for taking on the long-term liabilities associated with decommissioning nuclear plants, the state has a call on BE's net cash flows - 65 per cent from 2004 to 2007, and now 35 per cent. It can convert this right into equity at any point and could potentially block unwanted interest. Whether it would, though, is a moot point. While some potential suitors - Russia's Gazprom, for example - would be politically less appealing than others, the UK government appears to feel sanguine about foreign ownership even of such strategic assets.

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