Swedish firm Vattenfall is pulling out of the race to build new nuclear plants in the UK for 12-18 months due to the вЂњeconomic recession and market conditions."
Speaking at the Reuters Energy Summitt VattenfallвЂ™s chief executive Lars Josefsson said the recession and falling energy prices had raised question marks over investing in BritainвЂ™s plans to let private companies build new plants. However the company said that it вЂњretains a significant interest in the UK energy market, and will continue to monitor developments in UK new build."
However industry players questioned Vattenfall's motives this week.
Dougie Rooney, Unite's national energy officer, said: "Vattenfall lost a march in the UK new nuclear programme when they pulled out of bidding for British Energy at the 11th hour. That makes it difficult for Vattenfall to look like a serious player now. It has left other potential partners confused about their strategy and so it is hard for them to make the joint venture they need to be a player."ADVERTISEMENT
A leading UK contractor said: "They always planned to be in the second wave of the programme so standing back for 18 months could be tactical."
Vattenfall's announcement closely follows French utility giant EDF's warning last month, in an interview with the Financial Times, that Britain's new nuclear plants may not get built without financial backing from the UK Government.