Hinkley nuclear power station is too expensive according to Ratcliffe

16 December 2013 Last updated at 17:02 Share this pageEmailPrint
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25390456

Ineos boss says Hinkley nuclear power too expensive

Power from the new Hinkley C nuclear generator will be too expensive, the boss of one of the UK’s biggest energy consumers has warned.

Jim Ratcliffe, whose company Ineos owns the Grangemouth plant in Scotland, told the BBC that UK manufacturers would find the price unaffordable.

The government has guaranteed a price of £92.50 per megawatt hour (Mwh).

Mr Ratcliffe said Ineos recently agreed a deal for nuclear power in France at 45 euros (£37.94) per Mwh.

The government has guaranteed that the new Hinkley station, being developed by France’s EdF and backed by Chinese investors, can charge the £92.50 minimum price for 35 years.

‘Not competitive’
“Forget it,” Mr Ratcliffe said in an interview with the BBC’s business editor Robert Peston. “Nobody in manufacturing is going to go near [that price].”

Mr Ratcliffe said: “The UK probably has the most expensive energy in the world.

“It is more expensive than Germany, it is more expensive than France, it is much, much, more expensive than America. It is not competitive at all, on the energy front, I am afraid.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said the UK needed an affordable energy supply.

He said: “The UK Government has always been clear that EDF will only be offered an investment contract for the Hinkley Point C new nuclear power plant if it is fair, affordable, value for money and consistent with state aid rules.

“No consumer in the UK will pay anything for electricity from Hinkley until 2023.”

When running at full capacity the new Hinkley plant is expected to generate about 7% of the UK’s electricity.

Ministers and EdF were in talks for more than a year about the minimum price the company would be paid for electricity produced at the site, which the government estimates will cost £16bn to build.

In the end, the government guaranteed the group a price for electricity in 2023 at twice the current level of wholesale prices.

The guaranteed price was seen as necessary to ensure the investment in new nuclear capacity took place, given the huge cost of building the nuclear plants.

‘Knife-edge’
A spokesperson for the World Nuclear Association said the cost of nuclear energy in the UK was a “complex issue”.

The association said Mr Ratcliffe had compared £92.50 per Mwh, a 35-year deal, to France’s 45 euros, which was a “deal of unknown duration”.

“It should be pointed out that France has the highest proportion of nuclear in its generation mix and lower than average EU power prices, so there is nothing automatically expensive about nuclear power,” the spokesperson added.

The Grangemouth refinery is set to become the first chemical plant in the UK to receive shale gas from the US. This will be the first time it will transported across the Atlantic ocean.

The plant supplies 70% of the fuel used at Scotland’s filling stations.

The company had announced in October the permanent closure of the plant, affecting 800 jobs, but the bitter dispute with the Unite union ended after workers agreed to changes in conditions – including a three-year pay freeze and an end to the final salary pension scheme – and the plant will stay open.

Saying that the plant was on a “knife-edge” after “that turbulent time” in October, Mr Ratcliffe said: “I think Grangemouth has the prospect of a very good future if it can get through the next three years.”

“Attitude on the site is much more positive and you can see people are really anxious to move on.”

Mr Ratcliffe was a chemical engineer before he became an entrepreneur, when Ineos started by buying a Belgian chemical plant in 1998, for less than £90m.

He was reckoned to be one of the UK’s 10 richest men before the credit crunch, worth £2.3bn, although Forbes magazine put his worth at $1.1bn (£680m) this year.

He added that Ineos was looking into hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, where water and chemicals are pumped into shale rock at pressure to release gas.

“We are having a look at whether we have a part to play in the UK in shale gas exploration,” Mr Ratcliffe said.

2 comments

  • seekingtruth

    what’s the story with nuclear energy. it appears to be the best type of energy source out there, what is your view and is there concrete research that shows that nuclear is a good source of energy?

    • theunhivedmind

      Why wouldn’t nuclear energy be a good source of energy? Nuclear reactors can go on and on for a very long time compare them to coal power plants and well you can see a massive difference. Nuclear energy is the one thing that can actually boost population growth and prosperity but instead it is now demonized in order to make sure population growth cannot be expanded in the same way oil expanded the growth when that became the most popular fuel. On top of the population growth you have the fact that sovereign nations can be energy independent and not have to rely on or pay all the time for oil. This was one of the punishments on Japan with the 3/11 disaster created by the orders of nefarious Liverymen connected with The Worshipful Company of Fuellers. Japan was going to enrich uranium for Iran which would help make Iran independent from the oil Fueller barons. Japan had to be punished for this and other covert dealings going on at the time. Now Japan has no nuclear reactors working and they have to pay billions to The Worshipful Company of Fuellers through their front companies for oil. This is all about control. Then we have the even safer Thorium based nuclear power. Nuclear power is safe if it is respected and monitored properly. If you want to understand what is going on with the nuclear power and why then I suggest you read ‘Nuclear Power: Anathema to the New World Order’ by Dr John Coleman, I do not think he sells this book any more for some strange reason.

      -= The Unhived Mind

      Nuclear Power: Anathema to the New World Order

      One of the greatest advances made by man was the discovery of nuclear energy as a source of cheap and safe electricity. It promised to transform the world within a time frame of a maximum of three decades. In order to understand world events in both the areas of politics and economics, one must have a thorough understanding of religion and secret societies which play a leading role in world events. Secret societies, more so in 2008 than ever before, greatly influence the course of momentous events. The rich and the powerful belong to secret societies that most ordinary people have never, even heard about, and it comes as a surprise to many to find out that such notable personages the Elizabeth, Queen of England is a member of a number of them, all of which play a big role in shaping the course of events.

      Nuclear power generated electricity is particularly hated by the leaders of secret societies, the men the Bible calls “spiritual men who walk in darkness and whose deeds are evil.” The Bible foreshadowed the coming of plague pandemics such as AIDS and SARS, ordained for the world’s “excess” population diminution by these leaders. Nuclear power is hated by the elite because it brings new hope to millions of people who will aspire to a better life once nuclear power is running and available in every city and town throughout the world. The very poor, the downtrodden and the unwanted see new hope in nuclear generated power, as the book goes to some length to explain, the very thing the Illuminati members are so much against. They don’t want an extension of life for those who would otherwise die at a very early age in such countries and India and China.

      The book makes it clear that if nuclear power is allowed to reach its full capacity and its full promise, the world will take on a new lease of life that will be of unmatched benefit to all people of all nations. It also makes it clear why there are powerful people who see this as an unmitigated disaster and who will do all in their considerable power to prevent nuclear power coming into full flower.

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