The UK Government has announced further funding to support construction of the Sizewell C NPP in Suffolk after the Development Consent Order (DCO) was triggered earlier in January. An additional £1.3bn ($1.65bn) will be made available – the largest funding package to date – that will allow early construction works to continue ahead of a final investment decision later this year.

The funding will be made available from existing budgets to support ongoing preparatory works such as improvements to roads and rail lines around the site, ensuring the necessary local infrastructure is in place before full construction begins. The Government said committing further support at this stage will help the project stay on schedule and keep down overall costs. The DCO gave the formal green light for construction to begin and released £250m funding for initiatives for the local community and environment.

“Investing an additional £1.3 billion consolidates the government’s position as the majority shareholder in the project, reached in December 2023,” the statement said. It follows a £700m funding pledge in November 2022 and a further £511m agreed last summer.

Nuclear Minister Andrew Bowie said the investment injection “means we can steam ahead with work on Sizewell C ahead of the final investment decision targeted later this year”. He added: “We are making fantastic progress on the next GW-scale power plant in the UK’s nuclear pipeline…. It’s a win for our energy security and sends a strong message to investors that Britain is serious about its low-carbon, homegrown nuclear-powered future, providing reliable, cheaper power for British families.

Julia Pyke and Nigel Cann, Joint Managing Directors at Sizewell C, said the NPP will build on “the huge contribution of Hinkley Point C in restarting nuclear construction in Britain”.

In addition to the 500 people employed so far, Sizewell C has plans to award 70% of the value of construction to UK businesses, helping to create thousands of jobs in Suffolk and nationwide. The project will also create 1,500 apprenticeships, helping to build the skills base to support the UK’s long-term plans for new nuclear. Once operational, the plant will generate 3.2 GW of electricity, equating to 7% of the UK’s needs and enough to power up to 6m British households for over 60 years.