EU Commission approves British Energy loan

UK government bail-out said to conform to state aid rules; justified to ensure security of supply

The European Commission today approved the British government's UK£650m (€1.02bn) rescue loan to ailing nuclear electricity generator British Energy, confirming that it adhered to community guidelines on state aid. The loan made in September was justified to counter "a risk of disruption to the supply of electricity in the UK" and "to ensure nuclear safety", the Commission said (EED 26/09/02).

A loan cap of UK£899m was imposed by the Commission, not including a further UK£276m that was permitted for "identified contingencies". The Commission added that the UK had put in place a "rigorous mechanism" to ensure that money "can only be drawn when and to the amount strictly necessary".

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