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Energy Act 2004

Section 45 and Schedule 7: Further provisions applying to transferee companies

170.Section 45 gives effect to Schedule 7, and provides that directors of publicly controlled companies to which transfers have been made in accordance with nuclear transfer schemes are disqualified from membership of the House of Commons. An equivalent provision is made in relation to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

171.Schedule 7 makes provision about the finances and accounts of transferee companies. These provisions are required primarily for the restructuring of BNFL via the proposed transfer of its commercial businesses. The Schedule makes it clear that UKAEA subsidiaries (e.g. site licensee companies created from UKAEA) do not fall within the scope of its provisions, and remain subject to the borrowing and guarantee provisions of the Atomic Energy Act 1986. The Schedule sets out borrowing limits on transferee companies; and the basis on which the Secretary of State may issue loans or guarantee to such companies. The borrowing limits may be increased by order, which order is subject to affirmative resolution procedure in the House of Commons. Existing legislation concerning loans and guarantees to BNFL is extended to cover a “designated BNFL company”: ie. a company designated for the purposes of the Schedule by the Secretary of State. Paragraph 7 makes provision for the exercise by a Minister of the Crown of any powers given to him by the articles of association of a transferee company to restrict the sums of money which may be borrowed or raised by the group to which the company belongs, in the public interest. Finally, Schedule 7 also sets out the basis for preparing statutory accounts of transferee and transferor companies, and the requirement on companies wholly owned by the Crown to lay annual accounts before Parliament.

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