Centrica set to scrap plans to build new UK nuclear plants - FT

Sun Feb 3, 2013 8:02pm GMT

A sign stands outside a British Gas facility in Leicester, central England July 28, 2010. REUTERS/Darren Staples

A sign stands outside a British Gas facility in Leicester, central England July 28, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Darren Staples

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(Reuters) - Centrica Plc, owner of British Gas, is set to scrap plans to build nuclear power stations in Britain, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing one person familiar with the company's plans.

Centrica has the option of taking a 20 percent stake in four new reactors - two at Hinkley Point in Somerset and two at Sizewell in Suffolk - in a partnership with France's state-owned utility EDF.

Senior management had concluded that the investment in new nuclear power stations was not right for the company, amid concerns about rising costs since the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, the FT reported.

Centrica instead would focus on investing in North America, North Sea natural gas and Race Bank, a wind farm it plans to build off the Norfolk coast, the FT reported.

According to the source, Centrica could write off the 200 million pounds it had spent as its share of advanced costs.

However, the company will retain its 20 per cent stake in eight of Britain's existing nuclear power stations, the source added.

Centrica's shares closed at 350.2 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Friday.

(Reporting by Karen Rebelo in Bangalore)

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