U.K. Nears $22 Billion Atomic Plant Deal
Energy Secretary Ed Davey says that the U.K. is extremely close to signing a deal with Electricite de France SA to construct the nation’s first nuclear power station since 1995. Paris-based EDF would build two reactors at Hinkley Point in southwest England at an estimated cost of $22 billion. The U.K. wants new nuclear reactors to replace the country’s existing atomic generators, which is scheduled for closure by 2023. When completed, Hinkley Point is anticipated to generate more than 3,200 megawatts or about 7 percent of U.K. power demand.
Greenpeace Challenges U.K. Shale Explorations
Environmental group Greenpeace has initiated a legal challenge to shale-gas exploration in the U.K., asking landowners to use trespass laws to hinder drilling. The environmental group is opposed to drilling techniques that started a gas and oil production boom in the U.S., claiming that the drilling process pollutes natural water supplies. Without permission from the property holders, drilling horizontally under peoples land is illegal and owners can block drilling by formally declaring their opposition, Greenpeace said.
Glencore to Compete With Vitol for Billion Dollar Kazakh Oil Deal
Glencore Xstrata Plc and Vitol SA are both vying to acquire $1 billion crude oil from Kazakhstan. Oil traders are negotiating to purchase state-run KazMunaiGaz National Co.’s share of production from Kashagan. The companies may raise pre-payment loans of as much as $1 billion to acquire the oil, delivered over five years. Kashagan started production last month after several years of delays and costs that climbed to $48 billion. Production at the Caspian Sea field will rise to 370,000 barrels a day in the first phase from an initial daily average of 40,000 barrels.
Investments for Renewables Headed for Second Annual Decline
Investments for clean energy dropped 14 percent in the third quarter from the prior three months as Europe reduced subsidies and cheaper U.S. natural gas lured investment. Annual investment in clean energy and energy-smart technologies will fall for the second consecutive year, says Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Europe’s clean-energy industry is retrenching after subsidies were curbed in nations from Germany to Spain, which helped propel record growth in previous years. Cheap gas in the U.S. driven by a shale-drilling boom and China’s reduced spending on wind power contributed to the overall decline, adds the London-based consultancy firm.