Hinkley Point C: A brief update
Since 2008, the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project has been in development, but has been the subject of controversies, spanning both ethical and political spectrums. Situated in the UK, the project encompasses a new 3,200 MWe nuclear power station and EPR reactors, which would support the supply of electricity across England and provide a multitude of benefits. However, it has gained significant opposition from multiple angles, especially Stop Hinkley, a significant protest group which has grabbed a number of headlines through its ongoing concern regarding nuclear waste, which will be left on site for an unspecified time.
Initial preparation work on the site has been completed, alongside the necessary land acquisitions which will enable construction work to be underway. However, the costly project has seen traditional lenders refuse to take on further financial risk due to the project’s complexity, but recently a specialist construction firm has secured a £3.8 million alternative finance funding line to complete its work at Hinkley Point C (HPC) over the course of the next ten years. The multi-million-pound deal constructed by P2P business lending specialist Nucleus Commercial Finance, is comprised of £1.8 million in property finance combined with £2 million in invoice finance.
Approved in late 2016 through Theresa May’s government, the project is now set to take 10 years to complete, at a total cost of £18 billion, but has seen previous opposition from the European Commission, believing the project to break current state aid rules and subsequent investigation, in addition to previous signed agreements, which has seen enabled the partnership with China National Nuclear Corporation.
Commenting on the agreement, Nucleus Commercial Finance’s CEO Chirag Shah has said: “This is a fantastic deal because it secures finance for a critical part of the Hinkley project. The closing of this deal sends a clear message that non-standard lenders are fast becoming essential to British infrastructure projects. Businesses now feel confident using alternative lenders as opposed to banks, and are realising that non-traditional solutions can provide stability and flexibility.”
“The fact that the company felt able to come to Nucleus for this custom-fit loan, especially when involved in such a high stakes project, is testament to the fact we take the time to understand our clients’ businesses and don't use a one size fits all checklist like traditional lenders”, Shah added.
Read the January 2017 issue of Construction Global here
Masdar, PT PLN begin work on floating PV solar project
UAE-based renewable energy company Masdar, in partnership with PT PLN, an organisation specialising in electrical power and owned by the Indonesian government, has announced today it has started work on a floating photovoltaic (PV) solar project in West Java. The company says the 145MW plant is the first of its kind in the country. The project, which will be constructed on the Cirata reservoir in West Java, was financed by the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Societe Generale, and Standard Chartered Bank.
Developing the project is PT Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Masdar Solar Energi (PMSE), a joint venture between Masdar and PT PLN subsidiary PT PJBI. Bahlil Lahadalia, Minister of Investment for the Republic of Indonesia and chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, said: “This is a flagship project of the UAE’s investment in Indonesia, and most importantly, it is in line with the Indonesian Government’s target to increase renewable energy by 23% by 2025.”
Ladhadalia added: “The Ministry of Investment fully supports the investment realisation of the Cirata Floating Solar Project by PT PJBI and Masdar.” The plant is said to be the largest in south-east Asia, and one of the biggest in the world. Around 800 jobs will be created during its construction phase.
During the project’s development, Masdar has conducted several social initiatives to raise awareness of sustainability and strengthen the engagement of the local community. Talking about the partnership with Masdar, Amir Faisal, president director of PJBI, said: “We see tremendous potential for similar projects in Indonesia and we look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration with Masdar to work on more renewable energy projects and help our nation achieve its clean energy objectives.
“This floating power project is a first for Indonesia and is also a significant step in PJBI’s renewable energy journey,” he added.
Facts about solar energy
- Solar power is the most abundant energy source on earth: There’s enough solar energy reaching the earth every hour to meet all of humanity’s power needs for a whole year.
- The cost of solar panels has fallen by 99% since 1977: The price per watt for a single solar cell in 1977 was US$77. Today that same cell costs Us$0.21 per watt US$0.39 per watt for an assembled module, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
- China is the global leader in solar energy: Whilst solar power is increasing in popularity in the US, China is currently the country with the biggest uptake. Research conducted by GTM in 2017 predicted that the US would install 12.4GW of solar power during that year. China, on the other hand, installed 24.4GW of power in the first half of 2017 alone.