British Energy

Energy and Climate Change written statement – made at on 2 April 2009.

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Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State, Department for Energy and Climate Change

On 19 January, Hansard, column 19WS, I informed the House of the successful completion of the EDF takeover of British Energy. On 24 September last year, the then Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, my right hon. Friend Mr. Hutton, wrote to the Business and Enterprise Select Committee to inform members of EDF's takeover offer for British Energy. I would now like to update the House regarding the sites undertaking, which was referred to in that letter, copies of which were placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The European Commission as part of its clearance of the acquisition of British Energy received certain undertakings from EDF that are slightly different from those agreed in the sites undertaking entered into between EDF and HM Government and these are as set out in the announcement of the Commission's decision on 22 December 2008. The sites undertaking has therefore been amended to reflect these developments.

The Commission asked EDF to offer further undertakings which have had the effect that the disposal of Dungeness or Heysham should happen unconditionally soon after EDF's takeover of British Energy has completed, rather than making the sale conditional on EDF getting planning permission to build two EPRs at each of Sizewell and Hinkley Point as was the case under the sites agreement negotiated with the Government.