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Energy supplier could buy 25% BE stake - 11/05/2009

Homeowners planning to switch energy companies may be interested to hear that Centrica could be about to buy a 25 per cent stake in nuclear provider British Energy (BE).

French-owned energy company EDF bought BE last year in a £12.5 billion takeover deal and is expected to lead the government's plan to establish a new generation of nuclear generators in the UK.

Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has been attached to the deal for some time, but an exact agreement has taken longer to reach due to fluctuations in the wholesale electricity market.

Industry reports suggest that Centrica may have agreed to purchase the stake for around £3.1 billion.

The government has thrown its support behind nuclear power as the best way to safeguard the UK's energy future and offer a better way to access cheap energy prices in the coming years, despite the fact that the first reactor will not be operational for nearly ten years.

A January dispute between Russia and Ukraine over gas supplies prompted concerns that the UK is too reliant on imported energy.

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