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British Energy: Shares, Power Plants & Careers

British Energy logo

About British Energy

Not to be confused with British Gas, British Energy was the largest electricity generation company in the UK by volume, until it was bought out by EDF in 2009.

Recent history

Established in 1995 to operate eight nuclear power plants in the UK, British Energy experienced serious financial difficulties from 2002 onwards due to a drop in wholesale energy prices worldwide. This lead to the company seeking aid from the British government to stay afloat.

Following a number of restructuring moves in the form of acquisitions, part-sales and joint-ventures, almost all equity interest held by stockholders was eliminated. Some years later, in 2009, French energy giants EDF decided to swoop in and strengthen their position in the UK energy market by acquiring British Energy.

The final trace of the British Energy brand was removed on 1st July 2011, and it was rebranded as a subsidiary of EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited.

What happened to my British Energy Shares?

If you were a shareholder in British Energy and the organisation did not contact you with a Form of Acceptance by December 2008, your shares would have been subject to a 74p purchase. Get in touch with Equiniti on 0371 384 2045 as soon as possible to find out more and receive your funds. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 5.30pm.

Are British Energy shares still valid?

Illustration of British Energy shares and a magnifying glass

If you decided to hold on to your shares back in 2008, you should have been given Nuclear Power Notes. These notes gave people a continued interest in British Energy’s power stations with the potential for a cash payout at the end of every year.

The Nuclear Power Notes were valid for ten years and matured on 7th February 2019. During this time, two cash payouts were made; one in January 2010 and the other in January 2019.

All payouts were made to Nuclear Power Note-holders by electronic transfer. If you did not receive your money and feel you should have, contact Computershare on 0870 707 1760 and request a Dividend Mandate Form.

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Power stations

At the time of its acquisition, British Energy operated a total of 9 power stations. They were primarily concerned with Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) plants; however, they did operate one coal and one Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) plant. These plants were as follows:

  • Dungeness B (AGR - 1110 MW)
  • Eggborough (Coal - 1960 MW)
  • Hartlepool (AGR - 1210 MW)
  • Heysham 1 (AGR - 1150 MW)
  • Heysham 2 (AGR - 1250 MW)
  • Hinkley Point B (AGR - 1220 MW)
  • Hunterston B (AGR - 1190 MW)
  • Sizewell B (PWR - 1188 MW)
  • Torness (AGR - 1250 MW)

Apart from Eggborough power station, which in April 2010 became an independent company, all of the above are still operational under the EDF name and make up a majority of the EDF Energy generation business.

There are three further EDF power stations that were not part of British Energy: Cottam and West Burton A, West Burton B CCGT and West Burton C.

EDF Energy is also in the process of expanding its nuclear efforts by building two new nuclear power plants: Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C.

British Energy jobs

Illustration of two electricity bolts

Previous career opportunities with British Energy can still be found across the industry, particularly in nuclear power. Since EDF’s acquisition of British Energy, the demand for energy has risen in line with economic developments, advancements in technology, and increasing business and consumer consumption fueling growth to meet demand.

Government funding has frequently been secured in previous years to ensure the creation, development and update of nuclear sites across the country. This enables the industry to continue to meet the growing demand for energy consumption and power economic growth.

This consistent demand for readily available energy to power homes and businesses across the UK also drives a growing demand for skilled workers to fulfil diverse, challenging and competitive opportunities.

A career in the energy sector provides dynamism and growth across a wealth of diverse technical disciplines. In addition to technical, civil, structural and mechanical engineers, professional persons with competencies in the following are also greatly sought after:

  • Risk assessment
  • Strategy planning
  • Project management
  • Business management
  • Training
  • Document control
  • Quality control
  • Analysts
  • Radiation safety
  • Information technology
  • Chemistry
  • Accounting
  • Human resources
  • Security

On top of rewarding career opportunities, a job in the energy sector means you will be part of providing a valuable service to millions of homes and businesses across the UK and the rest of the world. For more information on careers, contact EDF Energy.

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