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Iberdrola & SSE announce their intention to form a joint venture for the UK nuclear new build programme


Iberdrola, S.A. (‘Iberdrola’) and Scottish and Southern Energy Plc (‘SSE’) have today 20 January 2009 announced their intention to form a joint venture to enable them to participate in the UK’s nuclear new build programme.

Working with all relevant parties, the joint venture’s initial aim is to secure sites suitable for nuclear power stations. Both Iberdrola and SSE may consider adding partners to the joint venture in the future.

In addition to power generation from renewable energy, nuclear technology is important for the security of electricity supply and the targeted reductions of CO2 emissions.

Pedro Azagra, Iberdrola’s Director of Development, said: “Iberdrola is committed to the UK market, and welcomes the UK’s plans to develop new nuclear power plants for low-carbon energy supply.”

Alistair Phillips-Davies SSE’s Energy Supply Director, said: “We accept that one more tranche of nuclear power stations is necessary for the UK’s energy policy goals from around the end of the next decade.  We also recognise that we will have to continue to be able to source power generated from nuclear stations if we are to be able to meet our customers’ energy needs in the long term.  Our decision to participate in this venture is consistent with both of these points, and our long-standing willingness to work with other parties in this area, and complements our core investment strategy in renewables.”

While each partner brings high quality relationships with equipment suppliers, the joint venture will not be bound to any single vendor for new nuclear development, and will be able to make use of the best available technology for each element of the nuclear new build programme.

On Iberdrola and SSE

In its home market of Spain, Iberdrola has ownership stakes in seven nuclear power plants with a total installed capacity of 6.7GW (3.3GW attributable proportionally to Iberdrola) and has the experience of managing and operating nuclear power plants in which Iberdrola is a sole shareholder or a co-shareholder with its local competitors. In addition to its strong domestic presence in nuclear generation, Iberdrola is also a valued partner in a number of nuclear development projects around the world, including participations in the construction of Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant units 3 and 4 and the licensing process of the new Areva, General Electric and Westinghouse nuclear generation technologies with the UK nuclear regulator.

In the UK market, Iberdrola’s subsidiary ScottishPower Ltd. has 5.4 million customer accounts, 6 GW of conventional generation plant and substantial network interests.  ScottishPower Renewable Energy Limited, also a subsidiary of Iberdrola, is the UK’s largest wind power operator and is well on the way to completing Europe’s largest wind farm, at Whitelee near Glasgow.

SSE is one of the UK's leading independent utilities.  Headquartered in Perth, Scotland, SSE is a fully integrated utility with activities in electricity generation, electricity transmission, and electricity and gas distribution and supply.  SSE owns around 10,500MW of electricity generation capacity, making it the second largest electricity generator across the UK and Ireland. Included in this total is over 2,000MW of renewable capacity.  It supplies electricity to over 9 million customers and delivers gas to around 5.7 million customers in the UK.