NDA and EDF launch land sale process

23 December 2008

The Nuclear Decommis­sioning Authority (NDA) and EDF have announced the start of the process for the sale of land next to three nuclear sites – Wylfa, Bradwell and Oldbury. The auction is planned for the first quarter of 2009 but is conditional on EDF’s offer for British Energy being accepted..

The sale includes EDF and NDA-owned land, totalling some 152 hectares, adjacent to the operating Magnox reactors at Wylfa in Anglesey. This land will be sold in two lots, lot 1 comprising land owned by both EDF and the NDA, and lot 2 comprising EDF-owned land only. The purchaser of lot 1 will have an option to acquire the 1670MWe grid connection rights for Wylfa currently held by EDF.

The NDA-owned land at Oldbury earmarked for auction totals 664 hectares, of which 616ha is estuarine land (including River Severn tidal reservoir) and some 48 hectares dry land next to the operating Magnox power plant, which is due to close in December this year. Conditional on the acquisition of British Energy by EDF going ahead, EDF has agreed not to bid for this land.

Before the NDA announced the sale of land, E.ON UK had secured a 1600MWe capacity connection agreement at Oldbury. Sources have reported that E.ON is in the process of acquiring land near to the NDA site.

Approximately 197 hectares of the NDA’s land at Bradwell is also up for sale. The Magnox reactor at this site is currently being decommissioned.

Should the acquisition of British Energy by EDF go ahead, EDF has agreed to sell the development land at Bradwell that is currently owned by British Energy on the condition that it first secures planning consent for two new nuclear units at the Sizewell site. The British Energy-owned land at Bradwell is surrounded by the Blackwater Estuary to the north, the Magnox reactor site to the west, and the NDA land to be auctioned to the south and east. While EDF might choose to bid for the NDA land at Bradwell, it would be required to dispose of that land as well as the British Energy land (contingent upon EDF both acquiring British Energy and securing planning consent at Sizewell).

The first step in the process, which will be managed by the NDA, will be for all potential bidders to return an expression of interest proposal. The NDA said it “reserves the right to exclude parties at any stage who do not offer a reasonable prospect of delivering value.”

The NDA and EDF will be looking to dispose of their respective assets for the highest capital receipt, subject to certain conditions including, in the case of NDA, approval of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

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