Changes made to top team at proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant
- Credit: EDF Energy
Developers hoping to build a new £20billion nuclear power plant on the Suffolk coast are making changes to the project’s executive team as they wait for a planning decision on whether to proceed.
EDF has appointed Stephen Billingham, a former chief financial officer at electricity firm British Energy, in an advisory capacity to the executive team for Sizewell C as it takes steps to become an independent company, and he will become chair of the project later this year.
Meanwhile, Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson is retiring as director of nuclear development for Sizewell C.
The Planning Inspectorate’s (PINS) report containing its recommendation on the future of the power plant project was due to be handed to the Government on Friday.
PINS has spent nearly two years thoroughly examining the proposals, which include a twin reactor power station, a two-village bypass, link road, rail line upgrades, and a temporary desalination plant.
The report will not be made public for three months and is expected to be published around late May.
Mr Billingham has extensive senior experience within the nuclear industry and was CFO of British Energy, playing a key role in preparing the company for acquisition by EDF.
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More recently, he sat on the board of infrastructure company Balfour Beatty and was chair of nuclear fuel consortium Urenco.
EDF chief executive Simone Rossi said: “We are putting in place all the building blocks to ensure Sizewell C's success as an independent business attractive to investment.
“We have been working with HM Government on this appointment and I am delighted that in Stephen we have been able to secure a top calibre and highly-respected future chair for Sizewell C with a strong track record of success."
Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy commented: "New nuclear is vital for reaching net zero and ensuring the independence of Britain’s energy supply. The current high global gas prices demonstrate the importance of having domestic, low carbon power generation in the UK.
“By generating 7% of UK electricity, Sizewell C could help keep bills down while also reducing our carbon emissions. I look forward to working with Stephen Billingham as we continue our negotiations on this nationally important project.”
Campaign group Stop Sizewell C is opposed to the plans for the new nuclear reactors.
Alison Downes, a representative of the group, said: "We've other low carbon generation options in the UK, even other nuclear technologies available in a similar timeframe, plus the failure of the Taishan plant in China still raises questions as to whether the European Pressurised Water reactor is a solution to anything."