Oil report

UPDATE 1-UK hung parliament a threat to new nuke plants-exec

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LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - Multi-billion pound investment in Britain’s energy sector, particularly in nuclear plants, could be under threat in the event of a hung parliament, an executive from a utility planning to build them said on Tuesday.

Opinion polls suggest no political party may win an overall majority in the British elections, which are just weeks away, making the investment climate too risky for developers to push ahead with their plans.

“It could possibly make some investment inconceivable, for instance nuclear,” RWE npower designate chief executive, Volker Beckers, told reporters on the sidelines of the Future of Utilities conference in London.

He said although the opposition Conservative Party supported the ruling Labour government’s push to replace Britain’s ageing nuclear fleet with new reators, it was unclear what stance a new government, that might include the Liberal Democrat Party, would take on nuclear power.

The Lib Dems oppose plans to build more nuclear power stations, which they say “will soak up subsidy, centralise energy production and hinder development of Britain’s vast renewable resources.”

Through its Horizon Nuclear Power joint venture with rival German utility E.ON EONGn.DE, RWE plans build up to 6,000 megawatts of new nuclear capacity by 2025 at Wylfa in Wales and Oldbury in southern England. [ID:nLDE6112AV]

Energy regulator Ofgem said last month Britain urgently needs to reform its power sector to ensure secure and sustainable energy supplies, warning that the closure of ageing power stations demanded swift and far-reaching energy market reforms to meet tough environmental targets and keep the lights on. [ID:nLDE6120LB] [ID:nLDE6170WV] (Reporting by Kwok W. Wan, writing by Daniel Fineren; Editing by Amanda Cooper)